Stephen Barclay: ‘Remorseless logic’ pushing UK to softer Brexit

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Minister) Stephen Barclay | Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Stephen Barclay: ‘Remorseless logic’ pushing UK to softer Brexit

The Brexit secretary says the government is not setting preconditions for talks with Labour opposition.


4/3/19, 11:28 AM CET

Updated 4/3/19, 11:33 AM CET

The “remorseless logic” of the number of MPs consistently rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is pushing the U.K. government towards a softer departure from the EU, Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, said Wednesday.

Asked on the BBC’s Today program if May’s decision to reach out to the opposition Labour party in a bid to “break the [Brexit] logjam” meant that the U.K. was heading to a softer departure, with closer alignment to the European Union, Barclay said: “Yes, it’s undesirable, but it’s the remorseless logic of the numbers in the House of Commons.”

“If the prime minister’s deal won’t go through, and no-deal is taken off the table, then the consequence of that is either a softer Brexit or no Brexit at all,” he said.

“The reality is we have to confront the numbers in the House of Commons. We are trying to unwind a very complex relationship with the European Union and do that without a majority,” Barclay added.

He said the government was “left seeking, in the national interest, if an accommodation can be reached” with Labour.

“I think [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn is someone who poses serious risks as to his economic policy,

 »