- Brexit Secretary David Davis accused of being “mentally checked out” by a Conservative minister.
- David was forced to u-turn after saying that MPs might not get to vote on a Brexit deal until after the UK had left the EU.
LONDON — David Davis has “mentally checked out” and “doesn’t care” about Brexit, a Tory minister has said after he was forced to u-turn on saying MPs might not vote on an exit deal until after the UK leaves the European Union.
The Brexit secretary was corrected by his own department on Wednesday after saying that a parliamentary vote on the deal might not happen until after Brexit day in March 2019. A Department for Exiting the EU spokesperson said they “expect and intend” the vote to happen before Brexit.
A Conservative minister told The Telegraph that the u-turn was evidence that Davis has “mentally checked out” and “doesn’t care” amid rumours that he is planning to resign as Brexit Secretary after March 2019.
Furious pro-Remain MPs attacked Davis for suggesting a vote might not happen until after Brexit, labelling it “unacceptable.”
Labour MP Chuka Umunna said the Brexit secretary’s comments were “in clear breach” of what former Brexit minister David Jones had told MPs in February, that parliament would have a “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal deal.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry said that Davis’s suggestion that MPs would not get to vote before Brexit was “absolutely, totally unacceptable”.
When asked by Labour MP Seema Malhotra whether a parliamentary vote might have to take place after the 2019 “Brexit day” at the Exiting the EU Select Committee, Davis said: “Yes, it could be. It can’t come before we have the deal.”
Theresa May then appeared to contradict her minister at prime minister’s questions, saying she was “confident” that MPs would get a vote before Britain left the EU.
Downing Street insisted May has “full confidence in David Davis and his team,” but did not deny that the prime minister had contradicted the Brexit secretary.
Davis has been under pressure after the stalling of Brexit talks and the EU Withdrawal Bill being delayed in going through parliament.
On Wednesday, Sky News reported that the Brexit secretary has failed to meet senior MPs in order to smooth the way for the withdrawal bill, which currently has almost 400 amendments added to it.
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