Stamford MP Nick Boles issues lengthy statement following threat to quit as Conservative whip
Stamford MP Nick Boles said he would never do anything that would lead to a government led by Jeremy Corbyn as this would be more damaging than a 'no deal' Brexit.
In a lengthy statement issued on Wednesday, December 19, Mr Boles said that since August he had held three meetings with members of the "local Conservative association" to discuss Brexit.
"At each of these meetings I have made clear that I am not willing to countenance leaving the European Union without a deal.
"I have also asserted my firm opposition to a second referendum.
"It is because I believe it is essential that we leave the European Union on 29th March with a deal that I have been promoting Norway Plus as a Plan B, in the event that Theresa May’s deal is defeated."
Mr Boles said cabinet had met to discuss preparations for a 'no deal' Brexit on Tuesday, December 18.
"While I accept that it is prudent for government to plan for all eventualities, I was beyond horrified to learn that members of a Conservative cabinet were actively promoting a so-called “managed no deal”.
"This is a dangerous myth. No Conservative should trifle with the livelihoods and security of the British people in the way that advocates of a “managed no deal” Brexit seem willing to do."
He said all Members of Parliament owed a duty to the country that was greater than their duty to their party.
"It is for this reason that I would feel compelled to resign the Conservative whip if at any point before 29 March government were to make a “no deal Brexit” the objective of government policy.
"Two weeks ago I co-sponsored the Grieve amendment to the programme motion on the meaningful vote.
"This secured for MPs the right to amend any government motion in relation to our withdrawal from the EU.
"All the opposition parties joined 25 Conservative MPs including Sir Oliver Letwin and Sir Nicholas Soames in voting for the amendment. The government was defeated and it passed."
Mr Boles said he was proud of his role in the initiative and was ready to work with MPs of all parties to assert their right to stop "a disastrous no deal Brexit".
"A government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be as damaging to the British people as a “no deal Brexit” and I will never do anything to make it more likely," he said.
"The best way for the Conservative Party to keep Corbyn in opposition where he belongs is for Conservative MPs to vote for a Brexit deal and deliver the result of the 2016 referendum in a way that preserves the prosperity and security of the British people."