Chris Grayling says blocking Brexit could encourage the UK's far-right

Picture: Getty Images
  • UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling warned that blocking Britain’s departure from the EU could “open the door” to extremism and far-right movements in Britain.
  • His comments to the Daily Mail come as Anna Soubry, a Remainer Tory MP, was verbally abused and accused of “being a Nazi” by pro-Brexit protesters earlier this week.
  • Labour MPs have slammed Grayling, with David Lammy accusing him of “gutter politics.”
  • MPs are set to hold a “meaningful vote” on May’s Brexit deal with the EU on January 15, which the government is likely to lose.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling warned that blocking Brexit would “open the door” to extremist and far-right movements in the country.

Grayling, who is a close ally of Prime Minister Theresa May, told the Daily Mail on Friday that if MPs blocked Britain’s departure from the EU, “we would see a different tone in our politics. A less tolerant society, a more nationalistic nation.”

“‘It will open the door to extremist populist political forces in this country of the kind we see in other countries in Europe,” he said.

“If MPs who represent seats that voted 70 per cent to leave say ‘sorry guys, we’re still going to have freedom of movement,’ they will turn against the political mainstream,” he added.


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Theresa MayDan Kitwood/Getty ImagesMPs are set to hold a ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU on January 15.

Grayling’s comments come after pro-Brexit protesters accused Conservative Remainer MP Anna Soubry of “being a Nazi” outside Parliament earlier this week.

Soubry has since called for the protester to be prosecuted by police.

One man who shouted the abuse told the BBC that his group would continue unless Britain left the EU on March 29, when Article 50 expires. Another was found to have argued last year that he wanted to “ban Islam from the west.”

Anna Soubry Jacob Rees MoggIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesGrayling’s comments come after pro-Brexit protesters accused Conservative Remainer MP Anna Soubry of ‘being a Nazi’ outside Parliament earlier this week.

‘Gutter politics’

Other MPs have slammed Grayling’s comments as “gutter politics”

David Lammy, a Labour MP who supports a People’s Vote on a final Brexit deal, tweeted: “This is a desperate attempt by a government minister to use a tiny extremist minority to hold our democracy to ransom. It is gutter politics.”

Luciana Berger, a Labour MP who has generally voted for closer ties with the EU, also said according to the Independent: “These remarks are not only grossly irresponsible but also show just how desperate supporters of this proposed Withdrawal Agreement have become.”

MPs are set to hold a “meaningful vote” on May’s Brexit deal with the EU on January 15, which the government is likely to lose.

Labour and Rebel Tory MPs joined forces to back a key amendment to the Brexit process on Thursday, which meas the government will have to return with a fresh strategy for Brexit if the House of Commons rejects her deal.


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