New Brexit poll would trigger ‘massive crisis,’ says Liz Truss

A new Brexit referendum would provoke a “massive crisis”, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss has said as she signalled backing a no-deal exit from the EU if an agreement could not be reached.

Ms Truss insisted she was against extending Article 50 in order to delay EU withdrawal beyond the scheduled Brexit date of March 29.

The Treasury Chief Secretary indicated that a no-deal exit could be better than a delay as she rounded on the idea of a fresh Brexit referendum.

Ms Truss told the BBC: “I think it would be an absolute disaster if we had a second referendum after people voted so clearly to leave the European Union.

“There will be a massive crisis in this nation.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“And it would be terrible for business.

“It would leave us continuing in this limbo period.”

Prime Minister Theresa May gave into pressure from pro-Europe ministers this week by offering MPs the chance to vote to seek an extension to Article 50 to delay EU departure later this month if her deal is defeated and a no-deal Brexit is rejected.

Ms Truss said she did not want an extension of Article 50 delaying Brexit, stating: “I personally am not in favour of a delay.

“I think it would be a huge mistake. I don’t think a delay buys us anything.

“All it does is it takes pressure off the EU and Parliament to finish those negotiations.”

Asked if she would vote in favour of no deal rather than the possibility of an extension, Ms Truss said: “I’m certainly of the view we have to keep no deal on the table. Yes.

“And that we are sufficiently prepared for no deal to go through with it if we have to.

“I’m of that view.

“What I have said is that I would support a no-deal outcome in the event that we couldn’t secure a deal.”

Ms Truss backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, but then stated she had changed her mind on Brexit.

After Labour’s alternative Brexit plan was rejected by the Commons the party will now put forward or support an amendment calling for a second referendum.

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