December 10, 2018 / 9:37 AM / 9 months ago

Hunt warns of "real risks" if MPs reject Brexit deal

Britain's Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt arrives in Downing Street, London, Britain, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned fellow British lawmakers on Monday that there were “real risks” if they voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the European Union on Britain’s exit from the bloc.

May too was not comfortable with all elements of the deal, including the “backstop” arrangement to guarantee no return to a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Hunt said.

“(But) it gives the vast majority of things that people voted for and there are real risks if we don’t grab this opportunity while we have it,” he said on arrival for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, a day before the vote in the British House of Commons.

He added that the European Court of Justice’s ruling that Britain could reverse its decision to leave the bloc without consulting other EU member states was “irrelevant” because Britain intended to leave on March 29.

He said it was “certainly not the intention of the government” to delay Brexit.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Gabriela Baczynska

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