The plan would see MPs asked to rank different Brexit outcomes in order of preference and will be put into action if Mrs May and Mr Corbyn fail to reach an agreement. Sources said Downing Street saw the definitive votes proposal as a last throw of the dice as the Government attempts to find a Brexit strategy acceptable tp a majority of MPs. A compromise deal with Labour is still the Prime Minister’s preferred option but MPs will be offered votes on alternatives if talks break down.
The Government wants to reach agreement with Labour on a list of Brexit options which MPs would be asked to vote on in a bid to ensure the process commands the support of a majority in the House of Commons.
But ministers will proceed with the definitive votes even if Labour does not agree the terms.
Downing Street said: “Ideally we would have Labour support in order to go ahead with those votes.”
The two sides met for further negotiations last night but “no substantive progress” was made, according to sources.
Mrs May’s Cabinet meets today and is expected to discuss what to do next amid calls for the Prime Minister to scrap the cross-party talks after weeks without a breakthrough.
Thirteen former ministers and the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, have written to the Mrs May warning her her not to concede to Mr Corbyn’s demands for a customs union to feature in any Brexit deal.
Their intervention comes amid growing frustration among Tory MPs, both with Mrs May’s leadership of the party and the continued Brexit deadlock.
Many fear they are heading for a mauling at the hands of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European elections on May 23 having already suffered heavy losses in the English local council elections earlier in the month.
The Downing Street spokesman said they were still trying to find an agreed way forward that would allow Britain to leave the EU with a deal.
He said: ”In preparation for an update to Cabinet, today’s meeting took stock across the range of issues discussed in talks over the last few weeks.
“We continue to seek to agree a way forward in order to secure our orderly withdrawal from the EU.”