Tuesday 24 September 2019

'I won't allow a no-deal Brexit' - MP is driven from hospital to House of Commons to vote after chemotherapy

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain September 3, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Roger Harris/Handout via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain September 3, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Roger Harris/Handout via REUTERS

Josh Thomas

An MP who says he was driven to Parliament to vote for the Article 50 Bill in the chief whip's car having just undergone chemotherapy says he will not allow no-deal Brexit to go ahead.

Independent MP Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford) told the Commons he has been committed to delivering on the 2016 referendum result, but insisted he would not allow a no-deal Brexit to go ahead.

Mr Boles, who left the Conservative Party in April, said leaving the EU without a deal would "jeopardise" the union of the UK, and throw up trade barriers between Britain and the EU.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Boles said that, in February 2017 he had been receiving chemotherapy in hospital.

He told MPs there was a high chance of infection.

He said: "Weak as a kitten, I got dressed.

"My friend and parliamentary neighbour the Brexit Secretary, who was then a Government whip met me at the entrance to the ward with a hospital porter and a wheelchair.

"He took me out to the chief whip's car, and we were driven to Parliament so that I could vote for the Article 50 Bill.

"Since that moment, I have done everything in my power to deliver Brexit with a deal that protects jobs and livelihoods."

Mr Boles said he is committed to delivering on the result of the 2016 referendum.

But he said he would oppose a Brexit which could harm the UK.

He said: "What I will not do is allow a no-deal Brexit.

"It would devastate sheep farmers in my constituency.

"It would be a hammer blow for automotive businesses in my constituency and across the country.

"It would put our union with Scotland and Northern Ireland in jeopardy, and it would be the single most protectionist step taken by any democratic country since the Great Depression, raising tariffs and trade barriers between us and our largest market."

Mr Boles said his opposition to a no-deal Brexit had cost him the support of his local party and caused him to leave the Conservative Party in April.

He said: "But I have no regrets. I can look people in the eye knowing that I have done what I believe to be right, and put the interests of the country before my own comfort or career.

"How many members of the cabinet can say the same?"

PA Media

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