Brexit Minister Slams ‘Deliberately Intransigent’ EU, to Activate ‘No Deal’ Plan in Three Weeks

Dominic Raab
Jack Taylor/Getty

The Brexit minister has blasted the European Union (EU) for their “deliberately intransigent approach” to Brexit talks as reports suggest the government will start legislating for a “no deal” in weeks.

“There is a risk of no deal, especially if the EU engage in a deliberately intransigent approach,” Dominic Raab said in an address to the House of Commons Thursday.

The Government was “preparing for the worst”, he also told MPs, in reference to claims leaving without a deal will cause traffic at ports such as Calais and Dover.

“We need to prepare for the worst case scenario where the authorities at Calais are deliberately directing a go-slow approach by supporting a diversion of the flow to more amenable ports in other countries,” he continued.

His statement comes as reports in The Times suggest Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger full scale “no deal” Brexit plans in just three weeks’ time.

Legislation to prepare the UK for a no deal Brexit will be launched in the second week of November, including at least four new bills, according to the newspaper.

One senior government figure said cabinet had decided that the government needed to “crack on”.

“We’re about to introduce no-deal legislation very, very soon,” they said. “We have to crack on because it will all need royal assent before we leave.

“Then there will be an awful lot to discuss and it will concentrate minds. Obviously, we don’t want to upset the negotiations but the clock is ticking and it will get harder and harder the later we leave it.”

Also Thursday, a former Tory cabinet minister said that Mrs May could be replaced as the Tory leader “within months”, amid mounting opposition to her Brexit strategy.

“I think we’ll probably, in the course of the next 12 months, be looking for a new leader,” said former education secretary Nicky Morgan.

Asked if Mrs May still had her backing, Ms Morgan told ITV’s Peston: “She has, absolutely, for now.”

On Wednesday night, May survived a faced off with her Brexit critics in the Tory Party after an “emotional” address to the backbenchers of the 1922 Committee.

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