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MP Sir Roger Gale hits out at colleagues who backed finance bill amendment to block no-deal Brexit

By Jack Dyson

Bay MP Sir Roger Gale has accused colleagues who defied the government by supporting an amendment to its finance bill of “playing party political games”.

The Prime Minister suffered a defeat in the House of Commons yesterday when 20 Conservative rebels backed a proposal to limit tax changes should there be a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Former cabinet ministers Michael Fallon, Justine Greening and Ken Clarke were among the Tories who voted for the cross-party amendment.

Sir Roger Gale believes a 'no-deal' Brexit would impact the supply of food and pharmaceuticals to the UK
Sir Roger Gale believes a 'no-deal' Brexit would impact the supply of food and pharmaceuticals to the UK

However, Sir Roger, a government loyalist who supported Remain in the referendum, says the result will have little impact.

“It doesn’t tie the government’s hands in the least – it just means that it has to use other measures to circumvent the motion and put through the finance requirements that it needs,” he said.

“I’m supporting the government, not entirely surprisingly. I’m not in the business of stunt politics and I’m not interested in playing party political games of any kind.”

Despite voting with the government yesterday, Sir Roger was among 22 Conservative MPs to sign a letter opposing a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU.

He believes it would impact the supply of food and pharmaceuticals to the UK.

“We eat food in east Kent, and much of that comes in on trucks from mainland Europe,” he added. “We also use pharmaceuticals, and much of those come in on trucks from mainland Europe.

“There’s a shortage of lorries and lorry drivers in Europe and it costs £250 a day to keep one standing still doing nothing.

“This gives road hauliers the choice of whether they want their lorries sitting still at Calais or up at Manston, which is another ludicrous idea, or do they simply use them to travel around the rest of Europe?”

The veteran parliamentarian also believes that, while there are some “hard-line Brexiteers who would welcome a cliff edge exit”, ‘no deal’ is not in the interest of his constituents.

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