Renowned Brexiteer Julia Hartley-Brewer has been taken to task by pro-EU Tory MP Dominic Grieve after she claimed that a no-deal was a possible option for leaving the EU.
During an interview with the broadcaster on talkRADIO, the former attorney general argued that a second referendum would bring to an end the uncertainty that looms over Brexit.
As an advocate of a second referendum that is exactly what I’m trying to do.
If people want to leave the EU on the terms negotiated by the prime minister and they are, at the moment the only terms available for departure...
Grieve was then cut off by Hartley-Brewer who interjected to say that a no-deal Brexit was a term of departure from the EU.
Grieve quickly and calmly responded by informing her that not only is no-deal not a term of departure but it is also unlawful.
No-deal is not a term of departure, no it is not, because it is unlawful. I keep on making the point.
No respectable modern government which is adherent to the international rules-based system can offer no deal departure as a viable option because it violates other international obligations of the United Kingdom.
It is so fundamental a point that no respectable government can do it.
Hartley-Brewer then tried to accuse Grieve of campaigning during the 2016 referendum on a manifesto that promoted 'no deal being better than a bad deal.'
How come you stood on a manifesto? You stood on a manifesto that stated no-deal is better than a bad deal.
You did not raise this issue with your constituents and say well actually this promise in my party manifesto is completely illegal.
Grieve, who has been a firm supporter of remaining in the EU, then had to point out to Hartley-Brewer that he has never backed a no-deal Brexit.
I did, I have never adhered to no deal being better than a bad deal. No deal breaches our other international legal obligations and specifically for Ireland under the Good Friday agreement.
They are incompatible. So if people want to have a no-deal Brexit, let us have a General Election, to select members to parliament who wish to violate our international obligations.
If you want to do that, that is a new world for the United Kingdom to move into, I might add a further step into general disintegration as a nation. We probably will not survive it as a United Kingdom at all.