Battle for Brexit: May and Corbyn face brutal defeat if they try to do deal

Posted on May 14 2019 - 12:12am by admin

The warning comes amid rumours that ministers may try to bring the Withdrawal Bill before Parliament as early as Thursday. Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned the Prime Minister that trying to strike a deal with the Labour leader in ongoing talks has reunited the Brexiteer European Research Tory MPs in opposition to any deal. Remainer Conservative MP Phillip Lee, the first minister to resign over Brexit, said that the 14 or so Tory MPs on his side of the debate were set to oppose the deal.

And a Labour MP organising Remainer opposition to a deal believes “upwards of 150 Labour MPs” will oppose the deal unless it guarantees a second referendum.

The SNP, DUP, Lib Dems, Plaid and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas also plan to vote down a compromise deal that would potentially tie the UK to EU rule through a customs union. And they number more than the 320 MPs needed to defeat it.

A senior Government source said that failure to agree a Brexit deal by the October 31 deadline will mean “there will be no Brexit”.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman and European Council President Donald Tusk last week implied there would be no further extension to Article 50 invoked by Britain to leave the European Union.

The Westminster source said: “Given a choice Parliament would be more likely to vote to revoke Article 50 than go for no deal.”

But last night Brexiteers made it clear that the decision to go into talks with Mr Corbyn and his hard-Left party had reunited them in opposition to the deal.

Many ERG members, including Mr Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, switched their votes to support the deal at the last meaningful vote to try to ensure Britain leaves the EU.

However, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The ERG is now united again in opposition to the deal. Going into talks with Labour and discussions about agreeing a customs union with the EU have made it impossible for most of us to support it.”

Dr Lee added: “The trouble with these talks with Labour is that they are trying to keep alive a compromise which is dead.

“The truth is the real choice is a no deal Brexit or a people’s vote.

“I will be opposing the deal, I suspect that most of the 14 of us [RemainerTory MPs] will oppose it.”

A senior Labour backbencher told the Sunday Express: “It is likely that upwards of 150 of us will oppose a May/Corbyn deal.

“Without the guarantee of a people’s vote we won’t support it.

“It shows the shocking state of British politics that when the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition come together they still cannot win a majority in Parliament.”

Meanwhile, Tory chairman Brandon Lewis has tried to blame the Brexit impasse on Labour.

Ahead of the European elections, where both parties are expected to lose out to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, Mr Lewis said: “Labour MPs have been playing party politics – they have voted against leaving the EU 37 times.”

But Mr Lewis has been attacked by Conservative MPs for a leaflet which appeared to blame Tories.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: “That disastrous leaflet has undermined attempts to get a proper Brexit and tried to pin the blame on ERG members.

He said, that combined with the ‘Brexit: Behind Closed Doors’ documentary, has ensured most Tory MPs oppose Mrs May’s deal.”

The programme had EU officials boasting that the deal had turned Britain into a “colony”.

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