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Theresa May's Brexit plans risk UK leaving EU without deal, campaigners say

Theresa May's plans for Brexit risk failing to fulfil the promises made by Leave campaigners and could lead to the UK exiting the European Union without a trade deal, pro-EU former ministers have claimed.

Tory former education secretary Nicky Morgan, Liberal Democrat ex-deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Labour's Chris Leslie said Mrs May's imminent decision to begin the Article 50 process meant the "phoney war" over Brexit was now over.

The three former frontbenchers, part of the Open Britain pressure group, said that as "realists", they feared the Prime Minister's plans for Brexit will not deliver the outcomes promised by the Government and the Vote Leave campaign in last year's referendum.

They said there was "no mandate for the form Brexit takes" but "a clear direction of travel has been set by the Government - and it is largely based on that set by the Vote Leave campaign".

The three senior MPs said: "Vote Leave and the Government have made specific promises: leaving is a cost-free option; trade will be enhanced not hampered; there will be major savings from the EU budget; core arrangements with the EU, for example over national security, will remain unchanged; and the integrity of the United Kingdom will be protected.

"Now that Article 50 is being triggered, people will expect these promises to be delivered: this is the Government's Brexit contract with the British people.

"In our view, political choices have been made that potentially undermine these ambitions and which make the path ahead riskier than necessary."

They warned that if the "Brexit contract" of promises made about the withdrawal agreement cannot be honoured, "it increases the chances of the UK leaving the EU with no deal at all ... This would be the worst of all worlds".

The MPs said: "As patriots, we want the best for our country. As realists, we fear the Government's Brexit contract may not deliver that outcome. And as democrats, we think that should be a judgment people and Parliament are able to make."

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