Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd not ruling out second Brexit referendum

Amber Rudd MP for Hastings & Rye
Amber Rudd MP for Hastings & Rye

Amber Rudd, the MP for Hastings and Rye, has not ruled out the prospect of a second Brexit referendum if the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement is voted down.

MPs are expected to vote on Theresa May’s draft deal on Tuesday (December 11) but many opposition MPs as well as Conservative members have said they intend to vote against it.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who intends to vote for Mrs May’s agreement, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The withdrawal agreement is the best option and will allow us to have the orderly departure kind of over a period rather than immediately which is always how I thought we would have to deliver Brexit.

“But if it doesn’t get through, anything could happen – people’s vote, Norway plus – any of these options could come forward and none of them are as good as the current arrangement we have got with the withdrawal agreement to vote on on Tuesday.”

The Norway plus model would see the UK remain in the single market but also allow the free movement of people in return.

Ms Rudd said it would be ‘chaotic’ if Theresa May’s plan is voted down on Tuesday.

She added: “There is only one plan and it’s remarkable, I think, that she (Theresa May) has managed to deliver on a plan which delivers on the outcome of the referendum.

“It gives us the best in terms of keeping us close to the economy and addresses peoples’ concerns, for instance on fishery and on immigration. But if that deal doesn’t get through, anything else could happen.

“There’s no other properly formed plan ready to take off the shelf and deal with.

“It could be chaotic after the withdrawal agreement if it doesn’t get through. Lots of different factions are saying they don’t like it but there isn’t anything, I don’t believe, that is better.”

Ms Rudd will be joined by Conservative colleague and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman in voting for Theresa May’s agreement.

This week, Mr Merriman said he intended to vote for it as he deemed it to be the ‘best option’ for his constituents and his constituency.

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