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Paul Nuttall, who was Ukip’s leader at the time of the 2017 general election and who is an MEP for north west England, has become the latest person to announce he is leaving the party because its current leader, Gerard Batten, is making it explicitly anti Muslim and pro Tommy Robinson. In a statement Nuttall said:
After much soul-searching over the past week, I have concluded that I must, as of today, resign as a member of Ukip. I do this with an immense amount of reluctance and regret, as I have worked tirelessly for the party for the past fourteen years.
I am resigning because the party is being taken in a direction which I believe is harmful to Brexit. The association with Tommy Robinson will simply appal many moderate Brexit voters and inevitably be detrimental to the cause.
In his Today interview Matt Hancock, the health secretary, also said that Downing Street had been “very clear” that the Brexit vote would not be delayed.
And he said that, if MPs voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, then the default option would be for the UK to leave the EU with no deal. He said
I don’t know how likely ‘no deal’ is. It is what happens automatically unless parliament passes something else.