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Secret cobra meetings held to prepare for no deal, MP claims

Secret cobra meetings held to prepare for no deal, MP claims

By Harriet Line, Press Association Political Staff

Secret meetings of the Government’s emergency committee have been held to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, an MP has claimed.

Labour’s Anna McMorrin said the Cabinet Office was preparing for the “very real threat” of no deal by undertaking civil contingency planning and holding Cobra meetings.

De facto deputy prime minister David Lidington did not deny the claim, saying it was right that the civil contingency secretariat plays an “active part in contingency planning for all eventualities”.

Ms McMorrin (Cardiff North) asked the Cabinet Office minister during departmental questions in the Commons: “We know the Cabinet Office is preparing for the very real threat that is no deal, with secret Cobra meetings and civil contingency planning.

“Business leaders are warning of the disaster of a no deal or a bad deal. Isn’t it about time we put this decision, the biggest facing our generation, back to the people for a people’s vote?”

Mr Lidington replied: “There was a people’s vote in 2016 which at the time both her party and mine said was going to be the decisive moment.

“It’s perfectly right that the civil contingency secretariat in the Cabinet Office takes an active part in contingency planning for all eventualities.”

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