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MPs can still halt no-deal Brexit, says Tory rebel Grieve

Dominic Grieve said he was yet to decide whether he would leave the Conservatives.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

A Tory rebel has joined Labour in insisting there is still time to stop a no-deal Brexit despite claims that it could be too late.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said MPs could bring down the Government to prevent such a departure, after it was reported a senior aide to Boris Johnson believes it is no longer possible.

Dominic Cummings told ministers that Mr Johnson could take the UK out of the European Union even if pro-Remain MPs forced a general election, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

There are a number of things the House of Commons can do, including bringing down the Government and setting up a new one in its place Dominic Grieve

But Mr Grieve told BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme that Mr Cummings, who masterminded the Vote Leave campaign, is “the master of disinformation”.

“He’s right when he points out that for the House of Commons to prevent a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of administration that is hell-bent on delivering it come what may, there are a whole series of obstacles,” he said.

“So he has a point, but I think he may also be missing the point that there are a number of things the House of Commons can do, including bringing down the Government and setting up a new one in its place.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth also disagreed it was too late to stop no-deal and said Labour was working with former ministers “rather foolishly” sacked by Mr Johnson in his debut reshuffle.

“I don’t accept that. I don’t agree with Dominic Cummings’ analysis,” the Labour MP told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

“We are working with MPs across the House of Commons and we will work to stop no-deal.”

Mr Grieve said that, if it comes to it, he would be part of the push to bring down Mr Johnson’s administration in order to prevent a no-deal departure.

But he said he was yet to decide whether he would leave the Conservatives, as he previously said he would if Mr Johnson came to power.

The PM needs to rely on the vote of every last one of his MPs currently, having been dealt a blow by the loss of the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

His working majority, including the DUP MPs who prop up his Government, is down to just one.

Tory party chairman James Cleverly on Sunday sought to rule out Mr Johnson calling a general election in order to boost his numbers in Parliament.

Mr Cleverly, appearing on Sky News, said the PM would not “initiate” the vote.

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