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Great Britain

BREXIT LIVE: Tory warns ‘POLITICAL MELTDOWN’ if exit delayed –‘Parliament would've FAILED'

Arch-Brexiteer Nadhim Zahawi has warned of a “political meltdown” if Brexit is delayed further

Arch-Brexiteer Nadhim Zahawi has warned of a “political meltdown” if Brexit is delayed further (Image: GETTY)

Mr Zahawi, Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon, said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If Parliament decides to vote down the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement then I think it would be political meltdown and Parliament would have failed." Theresa May wrote to MPs warning there will not be a third vote on her Brexit deal next week if there is insufficient support for it to pass. If Mrs May's divorce deal does not pass through Parliament, the EU have set a deadline of April 12 for the Prime Minister to go to Brussels with a new plan.

Mrs May has said one option is extending the UK’s membership with the bloc beyond the European Parliament elections.

But Mr Zahawi said he was not willing to tell his constituents the UK would take part in the EU elections.

He said: "Each and every one of us will have to ask ourselves the question: 'Am I prepared to go back to my constituents and say we're not leaving the EU, we're going to go for a much longer extension, and we're going to take part in the European elections?'

"I'm not prepared to do that. I don't think the Prime Minister is prepared to do that."

If Mrs May's divorce deal does not pass through Parliament, the EU have set a deadline of April 12

If Mrs May's divorce deal does not pass through Parliament, the EU have set a deadline of April 12 (Image: GETTY)

10:15am update: BBC radio presenter Jim Naughtie forced to apologise for likening a group of Tory Eurosceptics to France's National Front

Conservative Mark Francois labelled Mr Naughtie as a "very, very highly paid bigot”.

He suggested the BBC risked showing pro-EU bias during an outburst in the Commons.

Mr Francois had called for the presenter to resign if he failed to apologise for his comments.

10.00am update: Former chancellor George Osborne has called for a long delay to the Brexit process

Mr Osborne told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The best outcome now would be a long delay, and it’s not the worst thing in the world to ask people to vote for some MEPs, and certainly better than stockpiling medicine and turning Kent into a car park.”

“So I think the best outcome is a long delay where we rethink how we deliver on the referendum result and we try and find a majority for a compromise Brexit agreement and possibly have a second referendum.”

George Osborne has called for a long delay to the Brexit process

George Osborne has called for a long delay to the Brexit process (Image: GETTY)

He told hundreds of supporters Theresa May had reduced the nation “to a state of humiliation”.

Mr Farage said: "What has happened this week is not only a national humiliation but it is an outright betrayal, because Mrs May now tells us we're not leaving next Friday despite telling us over a hundred times that we would be, despite putting a piece of law in place supported by 500 MPs.

"So there is something going on here that I believe to be one of the saddest chapters in the history of our nation and we will not take this lying down."

Mr Farage said he believed, if there was another referendum, Leave would win by an even bigger margin.

Nigel Farage has joined the March to Leave in Linby, Nottinghamshire

Nigel Farage has joined the March to Leave in Linby, Nottinghamshire (Image: GETTY)
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