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Margot James MP: I'm not part of Remainer plot to stop Brexit

By Pete Madeley | Stourbridge | Politics | Published:

Margot James has insisted she is not part of a Remainer plot to block a 'no deal' Brexit – but says she would not serve in a Boris Johnson government.

Margot James says she is not part of a Remainer plot to stop a 'no deal' Brexit

The Stourbridge MP and Digital Minister was asked if she was part of a group of around 30 rebel Tory MPs who have reportedly vowed to bring down the next Prime Minister in a bid to stop a 'hard' Brexit.

She said: "I'm not part of any plot. My views on 'no deal' are very well known and I have worked with ministers like David Gauke and Amber Rudd, and Greg Clark, to make sure we don't leave without a deal."

Ms James has become the most vocal Conservative MP in the West Midlands against 'no deal', and has previously said she would do "whatever it takes" to prevent such an outcome.

She is backing fellow Remainer Jeremy Hunt in the Tory leadership race against Mr Johnson, who has described a 'no deal' exit as "extremely unlikely" but insisted the UK would leave the EU on October 31 "come what may".

Asked if she would serve in the government should Mr Johnson become Prime Minister, Ms James told the BBC: "No, I wouldn't. In the first place I cannot commit to what he has been asking future ministers to commit to, which is that we leave on October 31 with or without a deal, do or die.

"I can't make that commitment so I won't be able to serve."

Ms James refused to be drawn on whether she would vote against the government to block no deal.

But she described leaving under WTO rules as a "huge risk for this country", adding that the consequences "would be short term chaos and disruption, but also long term decline in investment in Britain".

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Earlier this year Ms James, who represents a Leave backing constituency, threatened to resign from government unless a 'no deal' Brexit was taken off the table.

She has backed Theresa May's withdrawal agreement each time it has gone before Parliament, and insisted she had the interests of her constituents at heart.

"My constituency voted 70 per cent to leave, something I have always borne in mind, [as well as] the country and our party," she said. "Sometimes they are in conflict."

It came as Remainer Tory MP Dominic Grieve launched his latest effort to delay Brexit, with an attempt to force a vote on a Northern Ireland bill to stop the next Prime Minister bypassing parliament in the Autumn.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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