NE Cambs MP and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay warns of 'constitutional collision' ahead of dramatic few days at Westminster
PUBLISHED: 14:52 24 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 March 2019
Ahead of the referendum MP Steve Barclay warned of Project Fear and their “endless scaremongering” but today, as Brexit Secretary, he delivered a different version of Project Fear – that of a “constitutional collision”.
The MP for NE Cambs – who once urged his constituents to vote leave to “give the British people back control from Brussels” – now fears that a general election could be called if Parliament takes control of the Brexit process.
“Ultimately at its logical conclusion, the risk of a general election increases because you potentially have a situation where Parliament is instructing the executive to do something that is counter to what it was elected to do,” the cabinet minister told the Andrew Marr show on BBC.
He said a series of indicative votes could mean the Government being forced to call a general election depending on how voting goes on revoking Article 50 or forcing a second referendum.
“If an amendment goes through where Parliament takes control of the order paper then that leaves open the door to Parliament then legislating to take no-deal off the table,” he said.
“And that is something that Brexiteers like me would see as a massive risk to Brexit because if Brexiteers and Parliament votes against the deal and also votes to take no-deal off the table then the only option is to then have European parliamentary elections.”
Mr Barclay the real risk was that Parliament could vote for things that were both contradictory and contrary to the policies which enabled the Conservative Party to win the last election.
He said: “The risk of a general election increases because you potentially have a situation where Parliament is instructing the executive to do something that is counter to what it was elected to do.”
Votes in Parliament could “potentially collide with fundamental commitments the Government has given in their manifesto” but he also cautioned that the votes would “not be binding”.
In a pre referendum message to constituents he had warned that “we should not continue to let unelected EU officials undermine controls at our borders or determine our laws. Nor should European judges stop us from deporting criminals and terrorists, or weaken our national security.
“With the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK can thrive outside the EU and enter new trade deals with global partners.
“As the successful businessman Sir James Dyson has said, the idea that we cannot prosper as a sovereign country is cobblers”.
Mr Barclay said back in 2016: “The remain campaign has tried Project Fear with endless scaremongering. We need to have confidence in our country.
“And we need to guard against future risks from the EU – such as more bailouts to euro countries, the out of control migrant crises, and countries like Turkey, Serbia and Albania joining the EU in the future adding yet more pressure to our GP surgeries, school places, and demand for housing.”