Brexit will not lead to a general election, says Jeremy Hunt

Updated: 

Parliament will fall into line to back the process that starts the UK's divorce talks with the European Union, Jeremy Hunt has said.

The Health Secretary has also played down speculation that unrest over Brexit will lead to an early general election, insisting it was the "last thing" voters wanted.

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn appeared to suggest in an interview with a Sunday newspaper that he would block plans to trigger Article 50 if the Prime Minister did not guarantee access to single market.

Hunt told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "The impact on the economy will be far worse if through some Parliamentary mechanism Theresa May is forced to lay out her entire negotiating strategy."

Hunt told the programme he had been a Remainer until June 23. "After that I became a democrat," he said.

The Andrew Marr Show
(Jeff Overs/BBC Press Association Images)

Corbyn said the UK must have continued access to the single market and there must be no watering down of workers' rights before Labour will back the process.

He also wants protections for consumers and the environment and a promise that the cost over lost investment is covered by the Government.

The Labour leader told the Sunday Mirror: "The court has thrown a big spanner in the works by saying Parliament must be consulted. We accept the result of the referendum.

"We are not challenging the referendum. We are not calling for a second referendum. We're calling for market access for British industry to Europe.

Brexit
(Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

"If the Government calls an election we're ready for it," he added.

"We have the members, the organisation and the enthusiasm. We welcome the challenge.

"It would give us the chance to put before the British people an alternative economic strategy for this country."