Prime Minister Theresa May has faced fresh humiliation after MPs voted to take control of the Brexit process by backing a series of “indicative votes” by 329 to 302 votes on Monday. MPs now have a series of free but non legally binding votes tonight to show what kind of Brexit plan they would be most likely to back. A spokesman for Mrs May acknowledged it was “extremely unlikely” her deal would return to the Commons but has not ruled it out entirely. The Prime Minister has vowed to continue her efforts to build support for her deal. The European Council last week set a deadline of Friday for her to secure parliamentary approval for her Withdrawal Agreement if the UK is to leave the EU with a deal on May 22.
Can Theresa May get her deal through if Brexiteers back her?
The Prime Minister’s meaningful vote was defeated by 230 votes in January and 149 votes in March.
Should it be tabled a third time then Mrs May will need approximately 320 MPs to back her.
At the last vote, Mrs May’s 149 defeat included 75 Tory rebels and 10 DUP MPs, plus 238 Labour MPs, 11 Liberal Democrats MPs and 10 MPs from The Independent Group.
Smaller vote numbers were made up from independent parties, the Greens and Plaid Cymru.
Mrs May requires the support of all Tory Brexiteers and the DUP to get her deal passed.
However, DUP leader Arlene Foster has scuppered the Prime Minister’s plans by confirming her party will not support a third meaningful vote.
A spokesman for the party said: “Our position remains unchanged and as previously set out.
“We will judge all proposals and scenarios on the basis of our objectives to maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom and deliver on the referendum result.”
European Research Group Chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg reluctantly confirmed he would back Mrs May’s deal if put to the House a third time over fears the UK might not leave the EU at all.
He said in a podcast: “I have always thought that no deal is better than Mrs May’s deal. But Mrs May’s deal is better than not leaving at all.”
The Spectator says other Tory rebels who would now support Mrs May include Rehman Chishti, Michael Fabricant, James Gray, Daniel Kawczynski, Esther McVey and Henry Smith.
Tory lawmaker Michael Fabricant also said there was now a “flow” of ERG members who would support a third meaningful vote.
He said: “I addressed the ERG last night, as did some of my other fellow Tory MPs, and we basically said to them the time has come now to back the Prime Minister’s deal.”
However, a large number of Tory rebels still do not back Mrs May but even if they did, their support would not be enough.
Mrs May requires the support of 74 Labour rebels for her Brexit deal to succeed.
Labour’s Deputy leader Tom Watson told demonstrators at Saturday’s People’s March he would support the Prime Minister if the public gets a say on too.
Jeremy Corbyn has also indicated he would back Mrs May’s deal on condition of a “confirmatory ballot” being put to the British public.
He told Sky’s Soppy Ridge: “I had a very good discussion with Phil Wilson and Peter Kyle last week and we went through what they’re trying to do, which is make sure people do have a say in the final matter, and that we agree with and support.”
The party’s official position is to look at all avenues including a second referendum.