Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP (who is also a Government Parliamentary Private Secretary) said: “We want to get a deal where there is great trading frameworks in a new arrangement, and if that doesn't happen, the Europeans won't see their £40bn.”
This contradicts the recent admission by Brexit minister Suella Braverman MP that the divorce bill is not contingent on securing a trade agreement with the EU.
When asked about recent revelations regarding a no-deal Brexit, Anne-Marie Trevelyan also characterised her support for leaving the EU as a matter of ‘faith’.
Commenting, Anna Soubry MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“Having different members of the Government saying contradictory things about the divorce bill only serves to damage the UK's credibility in the negotiations and to confuse the public.
“It is crucial therefore that we know whether Anne-Marie Trevelyan was speaking as a member of the Government or as a member of the European Research Group. It very much feels like the latter.
“It is also not good enough to simply say we should ‘have faith’ that there won’t be chaos at our ports and for our businesses. The Government must now provide clarity on this, and a commitment to ensuring frictionless trade after we leave the EU.
“If they are unable to do so, demand will rightly continue to grow for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal."