Baroness Warsi: Britain could 'crash out' of EU

Former Conservative Party co-chair slams politicians who are jockeying for PM Theresa May's job
Baroness Warsi: Britain could 'crash out' of EU
Baroness Warsi, who served in David Cameron’s Cabinet. (Photo: Tony Johnson)
By Alicia Buller
Wed 12 Dec 2018 08:23 PM

Politicians who are ‘jockeying’ for the UK Prime Minister’s job as she faces a vote of no confidence are ‘not doing their job’, the former co-chair of the Conservative party has said.

Baroness Warsi, who served in David Cameron’s Cabinet, has told Arabian Business that she believes the party should be standing firmly behind Theresa May as she attempts to take Britain out of the European Union (EU).

“Part of the reason we are in this Brexit mess is because people aren’t just voting on Brexit, they are jockeying to be prime minister. This means not only are they not acting in the national interest, they are not even doing their job. This needs to stop,” she said.

“With the way things are going, even crashing out is an option at the moment. If somebody really wants the job, they need to throw their hat in the ring. Ministers are giving opinions on something like they could do a better job but I’m not convinced they could because if they really could, they would step up and take the job wouldn’t they? There’s a lot of sniping going on but no one has had the confidence to give a solution.”

Baroness Warsi said: “I don’t think May did the right thing by postponing the Brexit vote (on Tuesday). This situation has to be brought to a head at some point; we can’t keep kicking this thing into the long grass. I think it’s clear that there is nothing more to do.”

What does she think will happen with Brexit?

“It seems like every option is something that couldn’t possibly happen but one of them has got to happen to bring this situation to an end: whether it’s having another referendum, exiting without a deal or accepting May’s deal – all of these options seem like crazy propositions right now but one of them has got to happen. I don’t think anyone knows what that final option will be.

As Britain’s first female Muslim to sit at the cabinet table, Baroness Warsi refused to be drawn on whether British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has what it takes to become the first Muslim PM.

She said: “I’m not sure if Sajid would define himself as a Muslim leader… he has made it clear at times that it is a part of his heritage but not a part of his life. We have to be careful how we couch him and how we frame him – he has got to be allowed to do that for himself.

“The Conservative party doesn’t care if someone is brown or has a Muslim name; it’s more about the kind of Muslim you are. If they are non-practising, I don’t that will be an issue for anyone but if it frames who they are then, of course it would be an issue.

“It’s like saying ‘is the political party ready for a woman leader’. Well, what kind of woman is she? Is she a woman’s woman or a man’s woman? Is she a woman who behaves like a man? There are so many different types of people.”

Baroness Warsi added that politics is in a ‘pretty traumatic, toxic place right now.’

Theresa May faces a vote of confidence in her leadership at 18.00 GMT after 48 of her Conservative MPs called for one to be held.

A defiant May has vowed to contest the vote "with everything I have got".

She warned that a new prime minister would be faced with the choice of "delaying or even stopping Brexit".

A majority of Tory MPs have publicly said they will back the PM in the vote, which runs for two hours, but it is a secret ballot.

So far, 174 Tory MPs have publicly said they will vote for her, with 34 publicly against, according to BBC research. She needs to secure the votes of 158 MPs to survive.

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