TORY Remainer ministers are to demand Theresa May gives MPs a chance to enforce a delay to Brexit in two weeks time as their price to support her.
The PM will try to convince the Commons on Tuesday to give her another fortnight’s grace for talks with Brussels for changes to the Irish backstop.
She faces a fresh vote on Thursday for Parliament to authorise her plan to offer MPs another say on February 27 if there is still no deal.
But with just 45 days to go until Brexit day, angry ministers – who met in secret on Monday – will tell No10 that is not enough.
Instead, in a new revolt, they want the PM to promise to hand over Parliamentary time to backbenchers at the end of the month if there is no progress then to allow a bill to pass that will enforce an extension to the Article 50 talks.
One minister told The Sun: “Just kicking this down the road another two weeks to give us another vote on February 27 is not going to be enough.
“It’s too late for that.”
FACING A FRESH VOTE
The latest rebellion has been devised by former Tory minister Sir Oliver Letwin.
Under his plan, rebel Remainer Nick Boles will agree not to re-table his amendment with senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper for a Brexit delay to avoid No Deal on Thursday.
Their revised plot would see a new law rapidly passed that allows Parliament to order the Government to ask for an Article 50 extension, the length to be determined by the PM but approved by the Commons.
Another of the Tory plotters added: “We want to secure a specific commitment from the PM for parliamentary time to make sure February 27 really is high noon.
“If we get it, then there will still time be time to get the Cooper/Boles bill Royal Assent by mid-March, so we won’t need to press a vote on it this week.”
Around 25 Tory ministers who have vowed to block a no-deal Brexit met in secret in the Commons on Monday afternoon to agree a joint line ahead of the showdown.
None pledged to resign on Thursday if their demand is refused, with most still considering their positions.
But Industry Minister Richard Harrington is one who is still determined to resign then if Mrs May hasn’t offered the reassurance, telling allies that it’s now “a matter of personal credibility” for him.
A group of six Cabinet ministers from both sides of the bitter Tory divide also met again in secret last night in a bid to hammer out a compromise over the deadlock.
The pair reached out to Remainers David Gauke, Greg Clark and Amber Rudd last week.
The fresh drama emerged as new Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay tried to open new negotiations on the Brexit deal with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier over a dinner in Brussels tonight.
most read in brexit
Mr Barclay pressed for legally binding changes to the Irish backstop to ensure it is temporary.
But ahead of the pair’s first meeting, Mr Barnier sparked hope by saying the EU is “ready to give all necessary explanations and guarantees” on the Withdrawal Agreement to reassure distrusting MPs.
But he added: “We consider that the work done on the Withdrawal Agreement, on the organisation of the separation, cannot be reopened’.
- GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org