Rory Stewart: I could back opposition bid to block no-deal Brexit
The Cabinet minister was launching his leadership bid at a circus tent on London’s South Bank.
Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart has signalled he could back opposition moves to block a no-deal Brexit as he launched a number of attacks on Boris Johnson.
Launching his leadership bid at a circus tent on London’s South Bank, Mr Stewart floated the idea of a “Brexit Assembly” of citizens to break the parliamentary deadlock on EU withdrawal.
Asked about a cross-party bid to block a no-deal Brexit and prevent peroration of Parliament, Mr Stewart said: “I am entirely against no deal. I am entirely against peroration.
“I haven’t read the details of this. My instinct is I would be wholly supportive of a move that tried to do that.”
Mr Stewart appeared to question whether Mr Johnson as PM would the right person to give orders to the commanders of Britain’s nuclear strike force.
Asked about Mr Johnson, Mr Stewart said he had spoken to Conservative Party associations across the UK stating: “When you ask them, do you really – and I don’t want to make this too personal – do you really feel that this is the person that you want engaging with the detail and the future of your health and education system?
“Is this the person that you want writing the instructions to the nuclear submarines?
“Is this the person that you want embodying the nation on the world stage and guiding you through the most difficult choice that Britain has faced for 50 years?
“I trust the Conservative members to arrive at the correct answers.”
Mr Stewart said the “threat of a Brexit Assembly” could be held over MPs if they failed to agree on EU withdrawal.
He said the move would see “a grand jury of citizens” sit for three weeks to try and work out a way forward.
Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray was among the audience at the launch and publicly challenged Mr Stewart to revoke Article 50 and end EU withdrawal.
Mr Bray has drawn attention for standing in the background of news reports carrying banners condemning Brexit.