Anti-Brexit MPs are deliberately trying to delay Britain leaving the European Union (EU), one of their leaders has admitted.
Pro-Brussels politicians from all parties are demanding to know the government’s negotiating stance so they can force a binding Commons vote and defeat it, according to former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
The Mail reports that Mr Clegg has teamed up with former Labour leader Ed Miliband and pro-EU rebel Tories to frustrate Britain’s exit from the EU.
The MPs have previously denied they were trying to delay the triggering of Article 50, but Mr Clegg admitted on Sunday that their plan could hold things up – and claimed that would be a “good thing”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he denied being a “Bremoaner” who could not accept the outcome of June’s referendum, instead accusing Leave supporters of being in a state of “Brenial”.
“They are Breniers because they are denying the mendacity of their original campaign,” he said.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who was also appearing on the show, accused the Europhile MPs of subverting the will of the British people, and said it was not appropriate for the government to reveal its negotiating strategy before talks have even begun.
“We’re not going to come on every single day and give a running commentary,” she said. “If I were to sit down and play poker with you this morning I’m not going to show you my cards before we even start playing the game.”
Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May offered to give MPs some scrutiny over the process of leaving the European Union, but said the government would not give a “running commentary”. She also said it was for ministers to decide when to trigger Article 50, not Parliament.
The government has said that any scrutiny must “not undermine the negotiating position of the Government as negotiations are entered into which will take place after Article 50 has been triggered.”