Ex-Tory minister apologises to Ireland over UK Brexit actions
Anna Soubry says Boris Johnson’s decision to seek suspension of parliament ‘a disgrace’
Anna Soubry: ‘we’re in a national crisis, you don’t just suspend parliament.’ Photograph: EPA/WILL OLIVER
Former Conservative minister Anna Soubry has told an Irish radio station she feels the need to apologise to listeners for what the United Kingdom is doing with regards to Brexit.
Ms Soubry, now leader of the Independent Group for Change MPs in the British parliament, said prime minister Boris Johnson’s decision to seek the suspension of parliament was “a disgrace”.
“It’s outrageous – the United Kingdom is facing the biggest crisis and the biggest decision that we’ve made since the second World War, so we’re not in normal times, at all,” she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan show.
“Just when you want politicians to be facing up to tough choices, big decisions, scrutinising the effects of a no-deal Brexit, what does Johnson do? A man who was elected by fewer than 100,000 members of the Conservative Party, he suspends parliament.
“Why does he do that? In order to pursue his horrible ideological plans for our country to crash out of the EU without a deal, in the face of the facts and there is no debate about this. He has no mandate, whatsoever, to do that,” Ms Soubry said.
“I actually feel the need to apologise to your listeners for what the United Kingdom is doing. It’s an absolute disgrace, there is no precedent for it, and there is no justification for it either.”
When asked did she suspect that he would do this, she replied: “yes, that’s what we’ve been talking about over the summer, this was debated during the leadership contest of the Conservative Party, and Johnson wouldn’t rule it out.
“There’s been legal action by way of example in the Scottish courts, so of course we anticipated this, but I’m also afraid to have to say this, but Boris Johnson has a very fine record for at best being disingenuous, telling fibs and lying to the British people. On the one hand he says there’s a one a million chance of us leaving without a deal, and then in the next breath he says it’s do or die, we’re definitely leaving on 31st October,” she said.
“We’re in a national crisis, you don’t just suspend parliament, we’ve just had five weeks of recess.”
Ms Soubry said she and others are working on a cross-party basis to explore all options “to make sure that parliament continues to sit and that parliament will do its job of scrutinising the preparedness or otherwise ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement is upheld and remains in place and we will also do everything that we can to stop us crashing out of the European Union.
“We will push legislation to stop this as long as people have the courage to be true to what they believe in and put the country first,” Ms Soubry said.