As it becomes increasingly apparent that the government is pushing to leave the European Union without a deal at the end of next month, it is more important than ever that the full costs of no deal are made clear to the public and parliament.
Today, the Chancellor Sajid Javid announced that he would be allocating an additional £2 billion to the preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, taking the total amount of spending on this to £8.3 Billion in total. At Prime Minister Questions immediately before the government’s spending review took place, I called on Boris Johnson to explain how much of this money has been allocated to support struggling businesses in the event of a no deal Brexit.
It was telling that he was unable to answer my question-or many of the others that were put to him about the impact of leaving without a deal. In my view, this demonstrates a clear lack of responsibility that we have seen from the new Prime Minister and his government in recent months. They have been presented with a seemingly endless supply of evidence to show that a no deal would be profoundly damaging to the UK, but they have chosen to pursue this course anyway; making very little effort to even negotiate a new deal with the EU.
This is a dangerous approach that must be stopped at all costs. I will continue to do all I can to resist no deal, and the undemocratic suspension of parliament that is being used to facilitate this. Neither of these measures are in keeping with the mandate of the referendum, when leave campaigners repeatedly called for an orderly exit following a negotiated agreement with the EU. Instead, I will be working constructively to secure a deal that takes us out of the EU, whilst averting the considerable damage that would be done by crashing out on WTO terms on the 31st October.