In a stark message, Mr Hunt told Tory Brexiteers that failing to back Theresa May’s exit agreement would put the country on course for “no Brexit”, rather than leaving without a deal as some hope. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said no-deal would be a “catastrophe” but insisted the bloc will not reopen negotiations. With Mrs May on course for a seismic Commons defeat when the withdrawal agreement is voted on next week, Mr Hunt yesterday warned that failure to deliver Brexit would be “incredibly damaging” for the UK.
Mr Hunt said it would be something that the country would regret for “many, many generations”.
He appealed to MPs who have spent months fighting for their “number one top favourite outcome” to come together behind a Withdrawal Agreement.
He admitted that the plan is “not perfect” but “broadly delivers Brexit”.
Mr Hunt said: “If this deal is rejected, ultimately what we may end up with is not a different type of Brexit but Brexit paralysis.
“And Brexit paralysis ultimately could lead to no Brexit.
“If we were, as a political class, not to deliver Brexit, that would be a fundamental breach of trust between the people and the politicians.
“I think that is something that we would regret for many, many generations.”
Mr Hunt added: “I think it’s now looking much less likely that Parliament would allow a no-deal outcome anyway.
“We have seen from this week that Parliament has the ability to assert itself and to shape outcomes.”
Talks between London and Brussels about fresh assurances are continuing and the outcome of the discussions is likely to be known by Monday.
But without full legal assurances written into the deal over the backstop measures to prevent a hard Irish border, the Prime Minister is unlikely to win over many of the Tories planning to rebel.
Meanwhile, Mr Juncker yesterday said: “We are checking with Downing Street what the clarifications could amount to.
“They should not be confused with a renegotiation.”
He added: “I don’t like the prospect of a no-deal. It would be a catastrophe.”
Mrs May is expected to speak to a number of her EU counterparts over the coming days as well as business leaders and more trade unions bosses.
MPs spent a third day debating the withdrawal agreement ahead of Tuesday’s crunch vote.
And, in a boost for the Prime Minister, a Labour former minister told the Commons he was close to supporting the deal.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “I’m talking myself into supporting the Prime Minister’s deal next Tuesday against no-deal and against further delay.
“I’m not quite there yet but I’m not far away.”
Another Labour MP, Mike Gapes, said he did not believe any government would have negotiated “anything very different” and claimed his party was in a “bizarre position” on Brexit.
Winston Churchill’s grandson revealed how he is “regularly called a traitor” for his pro-EU views.
Tory former defence minister Sir Nicholas Soames told of the abuse as he pleaded with MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal “warts and all” to avoid “chaos”.
Source : EXPRESS