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'Brexiteer' Hayes backs PM over October general election threat to save 'No Deal' option

Sir John Hayes MP has backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his determination to take the UK out of the European Union (EU) by October 31.

After a dramatic 48 hours in British politics during which 21 Conservative MPs were kicked out of the party for voting against the Government's Brexit plans, Sir John admitted that a general election might be the "only option" for Mr Johnson.

The South Holland and the Deepings MP described his former colleagues, including ex-Chancellors Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke, Sir Nicholas Soames, grandson of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, and ex-Education Secretary Justine Greening, as "renegades" for rebelling against the Government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Yesterday, MPs debated a bill jointly put forward by opposition parties that would block a "No Deal" Brexit and effectively trigger a general election in October.

Speaking to the Spalding Guardian, Sir John said: "Quite simply, the Government is committed to leaving the EU.

"I've always been a Brexiteer and so I'm right behind the Prime Minister when he says that we need to leave the EU without further delay.

Opposition parties at Westminster have put forward a bill trying to stop a 'No Deal' Brexit.
Opposition parties at Westminster have put forward a bill trying to stop a 'No Deal' Brexit.

"If the Labour Party and their allies, the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and renegade Conservatives, try to stop Brexit, then the Prime Minister is quite right to say that the only option is a general election."

MPs against the UK leaving the EU without a deal won a House of Commons vote on Tuesday night, allowing them to put forward plans of their own which would see the Brexit deadline extended to January 31, 2020 if Parliament fails to back a deal by October 19.

In response, Mr Johnson would call for an early general election to be held on October 15, four days before the Opposition bill's deadline.

Sir John said: "We're supposed to have fixed-term Parliaments of five years but we seem to be having elections regularly.

Houses of Parliament.
Houses of Parliament.

"However, it that's the only way to settle the matter then it's only right to say to the electorate: 'If you want Brexit to be delivered, vote for Boris Johnson and if not, you will have to vote for somebody else.'

"The Opposition bill is an attempt by the opponents of Brexit to both extend the timetable of Article 50 (the treaty to withdraw from the EU) until January 2020 and rule out a 'No Deal'.

"But anybody with any sense knows that if you close off the options, you weaken your negotiating hand and the idea that it would be a disaster if we leave the EU without a deal is hyperbole and scaremongering which I think is very irresponsible."

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