Money and Markets

Brexit may only have a '50-50' chance of actually happening, according to a senior politician

Business Insider US

  • Brexit has only a "50-50" chance of happening if MPs vote against Theresa May's deal, according to senior politician Liam Fox.
  • The best way to guarantee Britain exits the European Union on March 29, 2019 is for MPs to support the withdrawal agreement.
  • But there are no guarantees the agreement will get the support it needs. This is because, prior to Christmas, there were reports more than 100 MPs opposed it. Leading Conservatives even advocate a second referendum.
  • Reacting to Fox's "50-50" statement, the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said it is "actually 56-44" as public opinion has changed since the referendum.
  • Moran said the public wants to stop this "badly-led disaster."

The chances of Brexit happening on March 29 will be significantly reduced if MPs vote against Theresa May's deal next month.

That is according to the international trade secretary Liam Fox who told the Sunday Times that "if we do not vote" for the existing withdrawal agreement then chances of exiting the European Union would be around "50-50," down from a 100% certainty should May's Brexit deal pass.

"What you can be sure of is that if we vote for the prime minister's deal then its 100% certain that we will leave on March 29," Fox said.

"If we do not vote for that, I'm not sure I would give it much more than 50-50. And for me that would induce a sense that we had betrayed the people that voted in the referendum."

There are no guarantees that British MPs will back the Brexit deal in its current format. Prior to Christmas, there were reports that more than 100 MPs opposed it. And a number of leading Conservative politicians even advocate a second referendum.

Failure to support the Brexit deal "would induce a sense that we had betrayed the people that had voted in the referendum," Fox said.

"As far as I'm concerned, as an elected member of parliament, I've been given an instruction by the British people and it's my democratic duty to do it.

"We've been given a clear instruction. It's time parliamentarians put their own pride behind them and started to act with the spirit of humility and delivering to the people what they were promised."

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, a leading supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a referendum, said Fox's 50-50 calculations are slightly off. "Brexit not happening isn't 50-50 as Liam Fox says," she said, according to ITV.

"It's actually 56-44. That's the way the public now feels about us stopping this badly-led disaster and strengthening ourselves within the EU.

"The only thing that is shattering the bond of trust between electorate and Parliament is the refusal of ministers like Liam Fox to trust people with the final say on Brexit."

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