Oliver Letwin, one of the key Tory rebels, left Mrs May’s Brexit strategy in tatters last night after brazenly opening up a dialogue with Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, sparking outrage among Conservative Party Brexiteers. Mr Letwin quizzed Sir Keir in the House of Commons and asked whether Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would work with the Government to establish a cross-party agreement on a customs union and single market deal with the EU, which is Labour’s aim. Sir Keir replied: “Obviously, at some stage, if we are to leave other than without a deal there has to be a consensus in this House for something.” He then promised Ken Clarke, former Tory Party chancellor, that Labour would enter cross-party negotiations “in the right sprit” and as soon as Mrs May’s deal is defeated on Tuesday, The Times reports.
Sir Keir added: “We are going to have a look at what available options are realistically still on the table and what now are the merits of each of them.”
He then said there was strong support from Labour MPs for a second referendum which would no doubt outrage the 52 percent of Britain that voted for the nation to leave the EU more than two years ago.
The talks come after the “most realistic scenario” is said to be a no-deal Brexit, according to Brexiteer MP David Jones.
The former Brexit minister also argued that no deal is “manageable” and something that the Government is “preparing for”.
Mr Jones told the BBC: “To be realistic at the moment I think that no deal is the most likely option. I think that what the Government has to prepare for, in fact is preparing for, is no deal.”
When asked whether that concerned him, he replied simply with: “I’m not concerned about it overly, ideally we would like to have an agreement but there are already arrangements in place which would ensure that the planes fly, that traffic close between here and the continent.”
On Tuesday, Mrs May’s deal will face a meaningful vote, which was cancelled at the eleventh hour before Christmas over fears she would not get enough backing.
It is expected that should she not secure enough votes in Parliament, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will attempt to call for a general election.