Another Remainer Offers to Depose Boris Johnson to Stop No-Deal Brexit

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Minister without Portfolio, Kenneth Clarke, arrives in Downing Street on July 14, 2014 in London, England. Whitehall sources have indicated that Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to reshuffle the appointments to the Cabinet ahead of next year's general election. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Tory grandee and arch-Remainer Ken Clarke has said that he would challenge Boris Johnson’s leadership to stop a clean, no-deal Brexit on October 31st.

The declaration came in response to Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson stating that Clarke and deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman are ready to lead a caretaker government to “sort Brexit out”.

“I have been in touch with them because obviously you don’t just mention people’s names without checking that they’re OK with that,” Ms Swinson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday, stating that neither “want to see a no-deal Brexit”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the EU by October 31st, with or without a deal, and has ramped up preparations for a clean exit, but is facing challenges from the Remainer-dominated parliament which refuses to deliver on the will of the people who voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

In response, Mr Clarke said in comments reported by The Telegraph late on Friday: “If they ask me to lead, yes I would lead it.”

“If it was the only way in which the plain majority in the House of Commons that is opposed to a no-deal exit could find a way forward, I wouldn’t object to it,” he added.

Ken Clarke is a fervid Europhile who back European federalisation, famously saying in 1996: “I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a Council Chamber in Europe.”

The offer came after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a similar proposal — one that fell flat with fellow Remainers in other parties, including the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Ms Swinson said of the proposal that Mr Corbyn “is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task”.

In turn, in reaction to the Lib Dem leader picking Clarke and Harman, Mr Corbyn said it was “not up to Jo Swinson to decide who the next prime minister is going to be”, saying: “Under normal constitutional processes in Britain, when a government collapses, the leader of the opposition is called on to form a government.”

There was also opposition within the Liberal Democrat party to their leader’s backing of the Conservative Ken Clarke, with sources telling The Telegraph that the Tory grandee’s support for a renegotiated, soft-Brexit deal over a second referendum to stop Brexit altogether goes against their core policy of remaining in the EU.

Me Clarke said that he believed a renegotiated deal would carry the majority in the House of Commons, saying: “There are remainers, including myself, prepared to compromise, who would go for a soft Brexit staying in the single market and customs union and there are hardline remainers who won’t have anything but a people’s vote which they are sure is going to reverse their decision and keep us in the European Union.”

Aside from the open infighting within the Europhile camp, a poll publishing Saturday revealed that Britons would prefer having a no-deal Brexit than a Prime Minister Corbyn and a second referendum.


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