The leading Brexiter, who dramatically quit the cabinet last week in protest over the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the prime minister, said he did not advocate staying in the EU but that May’s plan was an inferior option.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what he would do if he had to choose between May’s deal or no Brexit at all, Raab said: “Well, I don’t have to choose that. I’m sorry, I’m not going to give way to hypothetical scenarios. I’ll keep fighting for the best, most successful Brexit.”
Pressed further on whether he thought the deal would be worse than staying in the EU, he replied: “Well, I’m not going to advocate staying in the EU but if you just presented me terms, this deal or EU membership – we’d effectively be bound by the same rules without a control or voice over them – yes, I think this would be even worse than that.”
Asked about reports cabinet ministers were considering a negotiated no deal, asking the EU to give the country another year of transition and paying some money in return, Raab said: “I would certainly be up for making a best final offer and then considering no-deal deals like that but I think, in fairness, that’s not the course the prime minister has taken. I respect all of my cabinet colleagues, from those that campaigned remain to leave, and those in between.
“But the reality is the deal we’ve got on the table is … I think inevitably we will see parliament vote this deal down and then I think some of those other alternatives will need to come into play.” [...]