Trade Secretary Liam Fox warns May’s deal could be abandoned

Trade Secretary Liam Fox warns May’s deal could be abandoned unless PM bags changes to the backstop, after promising to back her

  • Liam Fox has warned Theresa May that the Brexit deal could be abandoned
  • The Trade Secretary suggested that the Cabinet could end up blocking the deal 
  • He said reassurances that the Irish backstop are temporary are needed 

Theresa May’s Brexit deal could be abandoned unless the Prime Minister secures meaningful concessions from the EU, Liam Fox warned last night.

In an ominous assessment, the International Trade Secretary suggested the Cabinet would block the deal unless the PM secured solid reassurances that the Irish backstop can only be temporary.

Today, the Prime Minister will travel to Brussels to urge EU leaders to give her the guarantees she believes she needs to get the deal through the Commons. She will address a summit of EU leaders, despite their warnings that the agreement is ‘not open for renegotiation’.  

Liam Fox (pictured in Downing Street)  said Brexit deal could be abandoned unless the Prime Minister secures meaningful concessions from the EU


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Dr Fox said the deal may never be put to a Parliamentary vote. ‘It is very difficult to support the deal if we don’t get changes to the backstop,’ he said. 

‘I am not even sure the Cabinet will agree for it to be put to the House of Commons.’

He told the BBC: ‘If there is no movement on the backstop then it is very likely either one of two things happens. 

‘Either [we] remain in the EU without a referendum, which I think would be a democratic affront which brings a whole range of consequences, or, perhaps more likely, we have to up our preparations for no deal and leave the EU without an agreed deal.’

The backstop is designed to prevent the emergence of a hard border in Ireland if trade talks falter. 

Sir Graham Brady is pictured delivering the results of the vote of no confidence in Theresa May

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