Brexit: Rebel Tory MP Anna Soubry thinks "the people" of Britain might stop us leaving the EU

Lynsey Barber
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MPs Debate The Brexit Bill In The House Of Commons
MPs from the Conservative and Labour party have similar views on Brexit (Source: Getty)

A Tory MP has suggested that "the people" might stop Brexit, not politicians like herself.

Anna Soubry, the former business minister, last week hit headlines after warning the Prime Minister that she should stand up to hard-line Eurosceptics or risk splitting the Conservative Party.

Now, the backbencher who is MP for Broxtowe, has said it won't be MPs who might end up putting a halt to Britain leaving the EU.

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"I tell you who might stop it [Brexit], and that's the people of this country. We won't stop it, it's the people," she said speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show alongside Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

"We both voted for Article 50 to be triggered and people forget that," she said.

But she also warned that enough support could be mustered from both parties for a majority to defeat "the kind of Brexit the Prime Minister wants".

"There is a real shift among what I call the Leaver-lite and reluctant Remainers who are seeing the attraction of EFTA [European Free Trade Agreement] on the backbenches," she said

And Umunna warned of "people seeking to put ideology before the national interest".

"There is no majority in the house of commons for us to simply jump off a cliff. No body voted to be poorer," said Umunna. "However this pans out, the national interest has to come first."

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Soubry indicated that the pair, both of who are vocal Remain supporters, shared views on Brexit that were closer to each other than to the views of some within their own parties.

Umunna also said he could not see Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn forcing his own MPs to "vote against us staying in the customs union and Single Market with the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove".

"I cannot see Jeremy [Corbyn] saying to Labour MPs, we're going through the lobby with you guys and damaging the lives of constituents," he said.

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