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Dominic Grieve hits out at Brexit coverage with 'no place in rational political discourse'

Conservative MP Dominic Grieve has described some national media coverage of Brexit as having ‘no place in rational political discourse’.

The MP for Beaconsfield, who represents Burnham, was speaking the week after the Government backed down over his amendment to ensure human rights law is enshrined in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The week before, the former attorney general was branded a ‘mutineer’ in one national paper for his criticism of the Prime Minister’s decision to set in law the date Britain leaves the European Union.

He said: “If you say it has to be that date or nothing else you lose the potential flexibility if you need a bit of extra time to secure a deal.

“It’s pointless and a bad negotiating position.”

Mr Grieve was opposed to Brexit before the referendum but insisted his amendments were not an attempt to stop the process.

“Some of the coverage is hysterical, this emphasis between for and against,” he said. “Social media I avoid because I’m not on it, but some colleagues have been getting death threats.

“It really has no place in rational political discourse.”

He said the assurances he had received from the solicitor general, Robert Buckland, with regards to his amendment meant he was happy to work with the Government, for now, to see how rights under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights could be kept after Brexit.

The Government has until January to introduce its own amendment to this effect later in the bill’s passage.

He added: “In the meantime I will put my own ideas forward.”

Voters in South Bucks narrowly voted to leave by just several hundred votes and the former barrister would not speculate on what he would do in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

“At this stage it’s important not to speculate on what I would do on behalf of my constituents, but I have full confidence the Government will strike a deal,” he said.

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