DUP MP Sammy Wilson feels tomorrow’s crunch Commons Brexit vote is a foregone conclusion and the sooner it is “kicked out of Parliament” the better, so a new deal can be struck.
The party’s Brexit spokesman said: “It looks very much at the minute that it’s not going to be defeat for the government, it’s going to be a rout.”
Ahead of the vote Prime Minister Theresa May has warned Conservative MPs that they risk handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10 unless they back her Brexit deal.
Mr Wilson said: “From the people I’ve been speaking to nobody has been swayed at all by [the PM’s] entreaties, her spin, her UK-wide tour, the nonsense letters that are being sent out by the secretary of state, the conniving from the business community who are trying to sell this deal.
“There certainly doesn’t appear to be any indication that any of that has worked in changing views, in fact if anything it’s hardened views from what I can gather.”
Writing in today’s News Letter Secretary of State Karen Bradley said: “This government has an overriding duty – not just to deliver on the referendum result, but also to do so in ways that keep our United Kingdom united. The deal achieved by the prime minister is the only one on the table that can do that.”
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay insisted Mrs May would not delay the vote in a last-ditch bid to avoid defeat.
“I think the vote is probably a foregone conclusion now,” said Mr Wilson.
Asked should the vote be postponed, he said: “Definitely not, the sooner we get this deal off the table the better. Postponing it would only give more time for spin, it doesn’t solve anything.
“What we need now is an opportunity to go back to the EU and say ‘look, your deal is not acceptable, Parliament’s kicked it – not only out of the ground – but they’ve nearly kicked it out of the country’.
“The sooner that realisation dawns on the EU the better.
“The EU must be licking their lips at the prospect of the UK accepting such a one-sided, imbalanced, EU-benefiting deal. Let’s disillusion them as quickly as possible.”
Discussing whether a better deal could be negotiated, he said: “First of all, you couldn’t negotiate a worse deal, and secondly I can’t see the EU taking any view other than we can’t leave this lying in limbo.
“From their point of view they face the prospect of March coming with no guarantee of any money at all from the UK which means they’re going to have to go round all their capitals begging for money from countries who resent paying the amount they’re paying already.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s vote he said: “Regardless of what the theories of the business community might be this is a deal that we could not possibly accept, and in the long run the people of Northern Ireland would condemn us if we didn’t attend on Tuesday and vote it down.
“Maybe the next time when the government goes to negotiate with the EU they’ll not throw their hand in in the first round. That’s how we ended up with this deal.
“The prime minister has let the country down a bucketful.”