Thursday 19 September 2019

'I was shown a one-page summary' - Amber Rudd sensationally quit UK cabinet due to lack of planning for Brexit deal

Amber Rudd leaves her home in London, Britain September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Amber Rudd leaves her home in London, Britain September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd said she sensationally quit the UK cabinet because there was not enough evidence of planning for a Brexit deal.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, she said she was shown a "one-page summary" when asked for evidence of the Government's work in negotiating a deal with the European Union.

She said: "I have not seen enough work going into to actually trying to get a deal. When I asked Number 10 for a summary of what the plan was for actually getting a deal, I was sent a one-page summary."

"I believe he is trying to get a deal with the EU, I am just saying what I have seen in government is that there is this huge machine preparing for no-deal," Ms Rudd told Andrew Marr.

"You might expect in the balance between getting a deal and no-deal 50/50 in terms of work but it's not that, it's like 80% to 90% of government time going into preparing for no-deal and the absence of trying to get a deal has driven 21 of my colleagues to rebel, and I need to join them."

She added: "I am not leaving politics and I am not leaving the Conservative Party."

Ms Rudd, in criticism of those MPs currently occupying Cabinet positions, said Britain would have "left the EU by now" if they had voted for Theresa May's Brexit deal at the time.

The former secretary of state said it was "unfair" to "single out" the 21 rebels for their rebellion over no-deal.

She said: "Under the last prime minister we had rebellions over European matters - I think Jacob Rees-Mogg rebelled, I'm told, 100 times, lots of people rebelled on the Withdrawal Agreement.

"If they hadn't, we would have left the EU by now and some of those people in Cabinet.

"I think this is disproportionately unfair to single out this group who have a different view on leaving the European Union."

Hastings & Rye MP Ms Rudd said Cabinet were not shown the legal advice on suspending Parliament.

She told the BBC that she "persistently" requested it but "I didn't get it".

She called leaving the EU without a deal an "inferior and dangerous option" compared with striking an agreement.

Referencing her resignation, she added: "This was a very personal and difficult decision."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was "really sorry" to see Amber Rudd leave the Cabinet.

He told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "I'm really sorry to see Amber step down, I like her, I respect her.

"We became MPs at the same time in 2010, but I think in fairness when she took the cabinet role everyone was asked 'do you accept and can you sign up and will you support the Prime Minister's plan to leave by the end of October preferably with a deal, but if not come what may' and we all accepted that.

"I think the Prime Minister was right to restore some discipline and I think he's right to expect it from his top team."

He added: "It's been a rough week, but the reality is the Prime Minister is sticking to his guns on what he said to get us out of this rut that we're in."

Ms Rudd defended her decision to join Boris Johnson's cabinet.

She told the BBC: "People will always interpret any politician's activities as being in bad faith for one reason or another and you have to be pretty robust to do anything in politics at the moment.

"I supported Boris Johnson in his approach and I believe I was right to do that. It's because of the consequences now, 21 senior colleagues expelled and the lack of planning for on actually getting a deal, which makes my position untenable."

She added: "I think we win as the Conservative Party by showing our values, which are moderate, strong, proportionate one nation values.

"If we become a party which has no place for moderates like I am, centre-right conservatives, then we will not win."

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