Rishi Sunak warns MPs they can’t trust ‘Mr 2nd Referendum’ Keir Starmer on Brexit in meeting with backbench Tories
- Sunak said Keir’s handling of Brexit is like ‘asking Mr Fox to look after the chicken coop’
- He warned critics that not supporting his Brexit deal could mean loss in the next election
The Prime Minister joked that entrusting Sir Keir Starmer with Brexit was like asking ‘Mr Fox to look after the chicken coop’ when he sold his Northern Ireland deal to Conservative MPs yesterday.
Rishi Sunak labeled the Labor leader ‘Mr 2nd Referendum’ when he told the Committee of Backbench Tories in 1922 that the public has had enough of the Brexit ‘drama’.
He said: “Recently a poll showed Labor ahead on who would best manage Brexit.
‘Thats crazy. Mr 2nd Referendum is no more the best person to push through Brexit than Mr Fox is to take care of the chicken coop.’
Mr Sunak, who is known for his love of drinking cola and visited a Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn yesterday, bragged about the concessions he had received from the EU.
The Prime Minister joked that Sir Keir Starmer’s confidence, pictured on February 27, with Brexit was like asking ‘Mr Fox to look after the chicken coop’
He added: “If I had stood here a few months ago and told you that we were going to get the EU to reopen and rewrite the treaty text, you would have thought I would have had more than a Coca-Cola .’
The Prime Minister also warned his critics that if he does not support his Northern Ireland Brexit deal, the Conservatives could be hammered at the next election.
Failing to resolve the long-running saga over Northern Ireland would mean “voters will begin to question our ability to bring about some political change,” he said.
The remarks were echoed outside the meeting by Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker, who said: ‘This (deal) is what is available…it really wouldn’t be wise to drop it and go back on it.’
MPs from the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs met in Westminster last night – but said they will not formally agree to the deal for the next two weeks, after their lawyers sift through all 100 pages of the legal process . detailed text.
ERG chairman Mark Francois said: ‘We hope to have something in about two weeks, but if it takes longer, it will take longer.’
Speaking outside the meeting, former Leveling Up secretary Simon Clarke added: “It takes time. It’s a complex process. There are improvements, but there are also big questions, which is why we need the experts.’
Mr Sunak, who is known for his love of drinking cola and visited a Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn yesterday, bragged about the concessions he won from the EU
Mr Sunak told the 1922 committee, the Democratic Unionist Party, and its leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson that they had “time and space” to review the deal.
He said: “They deserve the chance to have their lawyers go through the text, to reassure themselves that it really does what it says, so let’s not pressure them for an immediate answer.”
The Prime Minister has received widespread support for the deal from his own party, including a number of senior Brexiteer MPs who rose up in the House of Commons on Monday night to support the deal.
Former Tory minister Stephen Hammond, speaking outside the 1922 meeting, said there were “no dissenting voices.”
Conservative MPs hope that reaching a deal on Northern Ireland could lead to an uptick in polls ahead of local elections in May.
The party is more than 20 points behind Labor in most polls after months of internal drama.
When Mr. Sunak left the meeting after about 45 minutes of questioning, he seemed to have won over more key hardliners.
MPs have been promised a binding affirmative vote on the deal, in addition to any votes in the House of Commons.