'Nobody drank champagne' Anna Soubry in shock comment as David Davis says NO DEAL unlikely

Posted on Dec 15 2017 - 2:00am by admin

Mr Davis was being quizzed in the Commons over Brexit progress after Mrs May suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Tory rebels last night.

But he told MPs the Government had won compromises in its agreement of withdrawl terms last week.

He said: “I think no deal has been massively less probable after the discussions of last Friday.”

And he added: “I believe this is a step forward that all sides of the House can support

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer asked for a pledge that the Government would not try to overturn last night’s “humiliating and entirely avoidable defeat”.

Mr Davis warned the outcome would lead to a “very compressed timetable” for ministers, adding that the Government “will have to think about how we respond to it”.

He said: “The effect of it is to make the powers available under Section 9 deferred until after, as we see it, we get royal assent to the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill, which means there will be a very compressed timetable.

“Now those who want to see a smooth and orderly exit from the European Union hopefully will want to see a working statute book.

“So we will have to think about how we respond to it, but as always we take the House of Commons’ view seriously and will continue to do so.”

But he would not directly answer a question on whether plans to fix the leave date a 29 March 2019 in the Bill would be dropped.

He said: “I do not view votes of this House of Commons as accidents. They are decisions taken by the House. 

“And that decision will be respected, as will the next one.”

Anna Soubry, one of the Tory rebels who defeated the Government last night, said the outcome had been “avoidable” but her concerns were not met.

But she defended the rebels’ actions insisting “nobody drank champagne” at the outcome.

She saod” “Can I say to the Secretary of State, it was avoidable, if the offer that had been made by (Mr Grieve) had been taken up, and he had at least one meeting since Monday.

“There was no meeting with any minister or any whip since Monday, but we are where we are.”

Ms Soubry then asked Mr Davis when the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill would come before MPs.

Mr Davis replied that there had been meetings with backbenchers since Monday, while the implementation Bill would be tabled once the withdrawal deal had been agreed, which EU negotiators hoped to have signed off in September or October.

The Brexit Secretary also pointed out that British MPs were being given far more scrutiny of the process than Brussels allowed its representatives.

He claimed people never derided the EU’s lack of transparency and insisted the Government had to keep some details a secret to protect the country’s interests.

Mr Davis said the Government would seek to “conclude the substantive portion of the negotiation” over Britain’s final deal with the EU before it entered into any implementation phase.

The Brexit Secretary also dismissed suggestions that the implementation period could last more than two years, saying it would cause procedural problems.

He added: “We’ve been given an instruction by 17.5 million British citizens to get on with leaving the European Union, and we have to do so as promptly and expeditiously as we can.

“Extending the transitional period indefinitely will be seen as a breach of that promise.”

In an unexpected announcement at the end of the questions, Speaker John Bercow said the Brexit Secretary had not been in contempt of Parliament over his claims about the existence of Government Brexit impact assessments.

He admitted: “Ministers could with advantage have been considerably clearer in their statements particularly in challenging lines of questioning in select committees that were based on genuine misconception.”

But he said the benchmark of contempt of the House had not been met.

Last night, MPs succeeded in narrowly winning a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal, despite last minute Government attempts to head off the revolt.

It means MPs and peers will be given more control over the Government’s implementation of the withdrawal agreement, as ministers will have to pass a statute, which can be amended, before it takes effect.

The Prime Minister was still reeling from the blow as she headed to a key EU summit where leaders will decide if Brexit talks can turn to trade.

She is likely to be quizzed about the vote at a dinner with the other 27 EU leaders tonight.

Last week, the European Commission decided that “sufficient progress” has been made on divorce issues to move Brexit negotiations on to their second phase.

And the EU27 are poised to approve phase two when they meet on the second day of their two-day summit in Brussels on Friday.

Leave A Response