Caerphilly MP Wayne David has branded the UK Government a “laughing stock” over its handling of Brexit.
Speaking in a debate on post-Brexit ferry contracts in the House of Commons on Tuesday, March 5, the Labour MP said: “If the Secretary of State (for Transport) really believes that no-deal should be an option, why on Earth did the government not begin preparations sooner?”
He later went on to say: “What a farcical situation. It gives me no pleasure to say that this Government have become a laughing stock to people not only in this country, but throughout Europe and the world. In many ways, that is epitomised by one individual – the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling MP).
“If they were serious about considering a no-deal Brexit, they should have begun the preparations as soon as this House triggered article 50. They decided not to, and to delay it, so they found themselves in a predicament and decided not just to avoid the law but to consciously, perhaps, break it as well.”
Mr David, who is a Shadow Defence Minister, added: “All of us are extremely concerned about the situation in which we find ourselves. At one point I thought the government were surely not serious about considering the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
“I suspect that initially they were not serious about pursuing it, but as time has gone on and the negotiations have been more and more unfruitful they have found themselves inevitably in the situation of having to make quite extreme, ill thought-out contingency plans.
“I hope very much indeed that the government do not have to introduce those plans. The message has gone out from right across this House, as well as from industry, the trade union movement and civil society generally.
“For goodness’ sake, even at this late stage, end this farce once and for all, and take no-deal off the table.”
Mr Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, defended the UK Government’s handling of Brexit and told Mr David: “We have been preparing for a no-deal exit for months and months…my Department has been working for months to prepare for the risk of no deal.”