Ministers should keep a second Brexit referendum on the table as voters could see Britain “hobbled and crippled” in future negotiations, Tory MP Sam Gyimah has said.
In a passionate speech in the Commons, Gyimah, who resigned last week as universities minister in protest of Theresa May’s Brexit plan, called the PM’s deal “fatally flawed” and “a deal in name only”.
He said Britain would be legally committed to withdrawal during future trade talks and likened May’s deal to buying shoes with “holes in their soles”.
“We will have Brexit secretaries that will be resigning next year because a lot of the issues still have not been thrashed out,” he said.
He added: “What is most likely to happen is that we will be given a free trade agreement dictated to us by the EU.
“We should level with the public. This deal does not bring closure.”
He added the UK was “in the foothills of a long and arduous process” when it came to Brexit talks the country “will always be in a position where we will have to walk away or fold.
“And I know what will happen, we will always fold because we will have the clock ticking.”
He went on to say “before we are all Leavers and Remainers we are British” and called on MPs to reject a deal he believed was “not in the national interest”.
The Tory MP decided to quit after the UK pulled out of the EU’s Galileo satellite-navigation system, which it had wanted to remain part of, but was banned from the extra-secure elements of the project by Brussels.
Gyimah told the Commons the EU’s brutal negotiating stance on Galilleo was “a taste of what’s to come” in future trade talks, saying the bloc “stacked the deck against us time and again”.
He added Britain would be negotiating “at a time when we had given up our vote, our voice and our veto and would have no leverage whatsoever” and that May’s deal represented “losing and not taking control of our destiny”
He went on to say the government should consider a second referendum, but added that everyone believes the prospect to be “divisive”.
But he said voters could in two years see Britain “being hobbled and crippled in those negotiations”, adding: “That would be also disappoint voters and that would also be corrosive of our politics.”