Brexit defectors need more to join for impact

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:55s

Brexit defectors need more to join for impact

Brexit has torn the fabric of Britain's political system, say a group of 11 lawmakers behind a dramatic series of defections that have sent shockwaves through one of the world's oldest and most stable parliaments.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Brexit defectors need more to join for impact

Three days of high drama in Westminster saw 11 lawmakers resign ...and form a new Independent Party.

The defectors, who all want another referendum, say that Brexit has ''torn the fabric'' of Britain's political system.

But they'll need to incite a much wider rebellion in order to achieve that goal.

Reuters' Will James is in Westminster.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS' WILL JAMES SAYING: ''The big thing they want to change is Brexit.

This is a group of 11 people who want another referendum on whether to leave the EU or not.

And they're also dead-set against going through with a no-deal Brexit.

That's something that they say can't happen, would have catastrophic effects on the British economy.

The big test for this group is whether they can bring other people with them.

These are 11 lawmakers who were already doing their own thing in parliament, already voting against what their leaders told them to do.

If they're going to make a change to the arithmetic which has meant there's no deal that parliament will approve, and there's also no consensus for another option, then they need ministers, they need big hitters from the opposition Labour, from the Conservative government to resign and say ''we're with you, we don't accept what the government is trying to do.'' The big test is going to come next week in parliament, when on the 26th and 27th Theresa May will have to report back on what progress she's made to make a deal that will get through parliament.

If she hasn't been able to prove there's enough progress towards something parliament will accept.

The clock is ticking.

Ministers are worried that Britain could end up leaving without a deal.

As a result, that's going to be the moment when the newly formed independent group either get the members they need to make a real change or they fall flat and a deal goes through and some other option gets voted for.

And at that point, they will be questioning, have they really spent their whole lives with a political party to then leave it and fall flat on their faces.''

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