Toppling Boris Johnson's government would bring no-deal Brexit by default, says Rory Stewart

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Attempts to topple Boris Johnson's government by MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit would result in the UK crashing out of the EU "by default", according to former Cabinet Minister Rory Stewart.

The former International Development Secretary and Prisons Minister, speaking on a visit to Hartlepool yesterday, said changing the law was the only option after Mr Johnson announced plans to suspend Parliament for five weeks.

He told The Yorkshire Post that the timescale would be "very tight" and that it was "impossible to say" how likely it was that legislation could pass through the Commons and Lords.

The Tory MP, who opposes a no-deal Brexit, said: "It is definitely do-able, the real question is whether you can get enough MPs to support it. If you can get enough MPs to support it you can get it done."

Earlier , Jacob Rees-Mogg told Remain-backing MPs they have two ways of stopping a no-deal Brexit in the wake of Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament.

The Commons Leader said Mr Johnson's political opponents could either try to pass a law to stop the UK leaving the EU without an agreement on October 31 or they could try to topple the government.

Rory Stewart poses with a local Labour supporter in Hartlepool. Picture: Frank Reid

Rory Stewart poses with a local Labour supporter in Hartlepool. Picture: Frank Reid

Asked which of the two options he favoured, Mr Stewart told The Yorkshire Post: "Change the law. Toppling the Government probably wouldn't help at all, toppling the government would mean you would end up with no deal by default. You have to change the law to stop it being the legal default."

Mr Stewart, who stood to be Prime Minister during this summer's leadership contest, is now embarking on a tour of the UK. He has already visited Scotland and the North East and is in Manchester today.

The Tory MP for Penrith and The Border paid tribute to Ruth Davidson after her decision to quit as Scottish Conservative leader, citing both "professional and personal" changes as reasons for her decision to step down.

He said: "She is an incredible figure. The Conservative success in Scotland was very largely due to her. She is someone I feel politically close to, we come from a similar wing of the party.

Tory MP Rory Stewart pictured in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid

Tory MP Rory Stewart pictured in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid

"She is a great loss. It is a very sad statement about British politics that someone as impressive and talented as that is stepping down as leader."

For the full interview with Rory Stewart don't miss The Yorkshire Post this Saturday.