Theresa May makes last-ditch plea to save Brexit deal

Theresa May suffered a fresh hammer blow to her Brexit strategy today as a government whip quit to vote against her deal.

As tensions reached boiling point with just over 24 hours to go before a critical Commons showdown, Gareth Johnson said he was resigning as he had to put his ‘loyalty to the country above loyalty to the government’.

The dramatic move came despite the PM launching a desperate last-ditch bid save her plan  – warning that voting it down would be the ‘height of recklessness’ and might mean staying in the EU.

There are fears that the resignation could open the floodgates – with several other ministers and whips thought to be on the brink. 

In his letter to Mrs May this afternoon, Mr Johnson said he believed the package thrashed out with Brussels would be ‘detrimental to the national interest’ and set Northern Ireland ‘apart from the rest of the UK’.

‘I have therefore decided the time has come to place my loyalty to my country above my loyalty to the government,’ he wrote.

Government sources tried to play down the resignation, pointing out that he represents the heavily Leave-supporting Dartford constituency.  

Theresa May (pictured on delivering her speech in Stoke-on-Trent today) urged Tory Eurosceptics to look at the mounting revolt by Remainers, and realise that Parliament is ready to block the country from crashing out

Theresa May (pictured on delivering her speech in Stoke-on-Trent today) urged Tory Eurosceptics to look at the mounting revolt by Remainers, and realise that Parliament is ready to block the country from crashing out

Theresa May (pictured on delivering her speech in Stoke-on-Trent today) urged Tory Eurosceptics to look at the mounting revolt by Remainers, and realise that Parliament is ready to block the country from crashing out

Gareth Johnson (left) announced his resignation, saying in a letter to the PM (right) that he could not ‘in good conscience’ stay in government

  • In another rollercoaster day at Westminster as the moment of truth looms for the PM’s deal:
  • EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and council president Donald Tusk sent letters assuring the government that the Irish border backstop is only intended to be temporary – but insisted that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened. 
  • A Remainer coup plot designed to seize power over the Brexit process from the government and hand it to Parliament appeared to be on the verge of collapsing. Senior pro-EU MPs dismissed the idea, floated by former minister Nick Boles, as flying in the face of the constitution. 
  • More Labour MPs broke ranks to say they will defy Jeremy Corbyn and back the PM’s deal tomorrow – although the numbers still look incredibly grim for Mrs May.  

Before the resignation, Mrs May had appealed for Tory Eurosceptics to look at the mounting revolt by Remainers, and realise that Parliament is ready to block the country from crashing out.

In a speech in Leave-voting Stoke-on-Trent, Mrs May said it was clear some politicians would use ‘every device’ to stop Brexit happening.

Underlining the dangers of the crisis wracking Westminster, she urged MPs to consider the ‘consequences’ of their actions for people’s faith in democracy.

Mrs May also pointed to the letter from the EU chiefs, which insists the Irish border backstop – the most controversial part of the Brexit deal – will only be ‘temporary’. 

‘We have secured valuable new clarifications and assurances,’ Mrs May said, while admitting that the commitment ‘did not go as far’ as some MPs wanted. 

Despite her scramble, Mrs May looks to be on track for a catastrophic defeat tomorrow night – with frantic manoeuvring under way over what happens next. 

A dozen Tory former ministers including Boris Johnson have urged wavering colleagues to stand firm against the deal, saying leaving on World Trade Organisation terms would not be a disaster.  

In her speech, Mrs May said she now believes if her deal is defeated, MPs blocking Brexit is more likely than leaving without a deal.

She said failure to pass her package could mean crashing out – but there was a ‘bigger risk’ of not leaving the EU at all. 

Mrs May rejected the idea that alternatives to her Withdrawal Agreement were available.

‘Nobody has yet come up with an alternative Brexit deal that is negotiable and that delivers on the result of the referendum,’ she said.

‘The only deal on the table is the one MPs will vote on tomorrow night. 

Labour splits deepen as MPs say they will back May’s deal  

Another Labour MP declared he would vote for Theresa May‘s Brexit deal today in defiance of orders from Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Kevin Barron said the deal was the only way to deliver on the referendum and avoid a no deal Brexit on March 27.

The Rother Valley MP represents one of the strongest Leave-supporting parts of the country and he is among a number of Labour MPs causing a deep split in the party.

Labour’s policy is to push for a general election if the Prime Minister loses the meaningful vote on Tuesday and Mr Corbyn has ordered his side to vote No. 

There will not be enough Labour votes to save Mrs May in the Commons tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said there should just be a simple vote on the deal tomorrow night, with amendments voted on later to avoid muddying the result. 

In a message to Remainer rebels, she said: ‘You can take no deal off the table by voting for that deal. ‘If no deal is as bad as you believe it is, it will be the height of recklessness to do anything else.’ 

Mrs May brushed aside suggestions that the EU might extend the two-year withdrawal process under Article 50 to the summer to allow more time for the UK to settle its position.

‘We are leaving on March 29,’ she said. ‘I have been clear I don’t believe we should be extending Article 50 and I don’t believe we should be having a second referendum.’  

Mrs May said the letters from the EU carried ‘legal force’ and ‘make absolutely clear that the backstop is not a threat or a trap’.

She added: ‘I fully understand that the new legal and political assurances which are contained in the letters from Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker do not go as far as some MPs would like.

‘But I’m convinced that MPs now have the clearest assurances that this is the best deal possible and is worthy of their support.’ 

The PM again ruled out a permanent customs union with the EU – floated by some MPs as a potential compromise that could command a Parliamentary majority.

‘I have always been clear that we will not be in the customs union, because being in the customs union has with it other aspects which are not what people voted for,’ she said.

Mrs May also offered an olive branch to Labour MPs who might consider backing her deal with an appeal over workers’ rights and environmental standards.

She said: ‘I could not have been clearer that far from wanting to see a reduction in our standards in these areas, the UK will instead continue to be a world leader.

‘We have committed to addressing these concerns and will work with MPs from across the house on how best to implement them, looking at legislation where necessary to deliver the best possible results for workers across the UK.’ 

Mrs May added that while no-deal remained a serious risk, ‘having observed events at Westminster over the last seven days it is now my judgment that the likely outcome is a paralysis in Parliament that risks there being no Brexit’.  

A dozen Tory former ministers including Boris Johnson (pictured giving an interview in London today) have urged wavering colleagues to stand firm against the deal

A dozen Tory former ministers including Boris Johnson (pictured giving an interview in London today) have urged wavering colleagues to stand firm against the deal

A dozen Tory former ministers including Boris Johnson (pictured giving an interview in London today) have urged wavering colleagues to stand firm against the deal

No10 also believes Sir Oliver Letwin (pictured) is behind the plot to overhaul Commons rules

No10 also believes Sir Oliver Letwin (pictured) is behind the plot to overhaul Commons rules

The amendment tabled by Mr Grieve (pictured) flew in the face of usual Commons procedure, and led to the PM's second major setback in 24 hours

The amendment tabled by Mr Grieve (pictured) flew in the face of usual Commons procedure, and led to the PM's second major setback in 24 hours

No10 believes Sir Oliver Letwin (pictured left) and Dominic Grieve are the main figures behind the plot to overhaul Commons rules

The letter from EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and council president Donald Tusk insists the Irish border backstop will only be 'temporary'

The letter from EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and council president Donald Tusk insists the Irish border backstop will only be 'temporary'

The letter from EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and council president Donald Tusk insists the Irish border backstop will only be ‘temporary’

It emerged over the weekend that Remainers from across parties are plotting an extraordinary bid to seize control from the government if it tries to push ahead with a no-deal 

Brexit. Conservative MP Nick Boles today confirmed plans to tear up Commons rules so MPs could propose legislation – something the government currently has power over. 

Ministers fear Speaker John Bercow would help the rebellion. Last week he flouted procedural convention to select an amendment from Tory former minister Dominic Grieve which attempts to speed up the process for the Government to reveal what it will do next if the PM’s Brexit deal is rejected.  

But the fledgling revolt was at risk of collapsing after it was dismissed by pro-EU MPs. 

Senior Tory Sarah Wollaston, previously one of the most outspoken anti-Brexit rebels, said it would fly in the face of the constitution.

She pointed out that the Liaison Committee – on which she serves had no role in drafting legislation.

‘Under our constitution, Parliament can either change the government’s mind or change the government,’ she said.

How could the ‘coup’ plot work? 

The rules of the House of Commons have been developed over centuries.

They are largely set down in Erskine May – known as the procedural ‘Bible’ – and Standing Orders. 

The government currently has power to control business in the chamber – which is especially crucial when there is no overall majority.

The executive proposes legislation and motions, which are then scrutinised by MPs. 

But ripping up the system to give backbenchers priority over Parliamentary time could fundamentally change the balance.

MPs would be able to prevent ministers bringing forward legislation, and stage votes on what should happen next – potentially even binding ones.

Speaker John Bercow will play a key role in pushing through any changes, which would effectively turn the constitutional settlement on its head. 

No10 sources admit that the tactic could effectively remove their ability to govern. 

‘It can propose legislation for government to take forward & it can amend or block it but back bench MPs cannot take over conducting a complex international negotiation.’ 

Asked during an LBC radio interview today what would happen tomorrow, Mr Johnson said: ‘I think the deal goes down. 

‘I think, possibly, some colleagues are being scared by this idea that there might be no Brexit as a result of voting it down. 

‘I think that’s nonsense. Britain will leave in March, absolutely, and that’s the bottom line.’ 

Mr Johnson said that defying the result of the referendum would be ‘playing with fire’. 

‘If we think that by coming up with all sorts of complicated amendments and you know delaying tactics, we’re gonna fool the British public, we’re going to manage to frustrate Brexit, I think we will reap the whirlwind,’ he said.

‘People will feel betrayed and I think they will feel that there has been a great conspiracy by you know the deep state of the UK, the people who really run the country, to overturn the vote of the people.’

A dozen leading Brexiteers – including eight former members of Mrs May’s Cabinet – have written to all Conservative MPs urging them to vote against the Prime Minister’s deal.

In a joint letter sent to every Tory MP, former ministers including Boris Johnson, David Davis and Dominic Raab call upon Mrs May to stage one final attempt to persuade the EU to drop the Irish backstop which threatens to halt Britain’s exit from the custom union indefinitely.

But if the EU fails to comply on agreeing such a deal, the Britain must ‘have the confidence’ to leave on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms on March 29.

The letter is also signed by other former Cabinet members including Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey and Priti Patel.

They write: ‘It is right to vote down this bad deal and that in doing so we will unlock a better future for our party, our country and its people.’

They add: ‘A managed WTO Brexit may give rise to some short-term inconvenience and disruption, but the much greater risks arise from being locked into a very bad deal.’

Mr Johnson repeated the message in his column in the Daily Telegraph today, where he writes: ‘This deal is still the worst of both worlds, by which we somehow leave the EU but end up being run by the EU. It is still a complete stinker.’

Warning his fellow MPs about trying to force a second referendum, he adds: ‘If they now engage in ludicrous parliamentary jiggery pokery, endlessly tabling amendments designed to frustrate Brexit, they will risk a very serious backlash indeed.

‘The answer is not to leave it to Parliament; the answer is for the executive to do its job, as some of us have been advising for months: to accept that the deal is dead, and to move on.’

On the BBC's Andrew Marr show yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn made clear the party is on high alert to try to force the PM out and a general election

On the BBC's Andrew Marr show yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn made clear the party is on high alert to try to force the PM out and a general election

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn made clear the party is on high alert to try to force the PM out and a general election

Is May’s deal already sunk? 100 Tories, the DUP and Labour have come out against – leaving her staring at defeat on December 11

Theresa May’s task of getting her Brexit deal past the House of Commons is looking near-impossible as opposition mounts.

The ‘meaningful vote’ promised to MPs will happen on December 11 and is the single biggest hurdle to the Brexit deal happening – as well as being the key to Mrs May’ fate as PM.

But despite opinion polls suggesting the public might be coming round to her deal, there is little sign of a shift among politicians.

Remainers have been stepping up calls for a second referendum in the wake of Sam Gyimah’s resignation as universities minister over the weekend – while Brexiteers including Boris Johnson have accused Mrs May of betrayal.   

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.

The situation looks grim for Mrs May and her whips: now the deal has been published, over 100 of her own MPs and the 10 DUP MPs have publicly stated they will join the Opposition parties in voting No.

This means the PM could have as few as 225 votes in her corner – leaving 410 votes on the other side, a landslide majority 185.

This is how the House of Commons might break down:

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The Government (plus various hangers-on)

Who are they: All members of the Government are the so-called ‘payroll’ vote and are obliged to follow the whips orders or resign. It includes the Cabinet, all junior ministers, the whips and unpaid parliamentary aides.

There are also a dozen Tory party ‘vice-chairs and 17 MPs appointed by the PM to be ‘trade envoys’.

How many of them are there? 178.

What do they want? For the Prime Minister to survive, get her deal and reach exit day with the minimum of fuss.

Many junior ministers want promotion while many of the Cabinet want to be in a position to take the top job when Mrs May goes.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

European Research Group Brexiteers demanding a No Confidence Vote

Who are they: The most hard line of the Brexiteers, they launched a coup against Mrs May after seeing the divorce. Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker.

How many of them are there: 26

What do they want: The removal of Mrs May and a ‘proper Brexit’. Probably no deal now, with hopes for a Canada-style deal later.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Other Brexiteers in the ERG

Who are they: There is a large block of Brexiteer Tory MPs who hate the deal but have so far stopped short of moving to remove Mrs May – believing that can destroy the deal instead. They include ex Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex minister Owen Paterson.

Ex ministers like Boris Johnson and David Davis are also in this group – they probably want to replace Mrs May but have not publicly moved against her.

How many of them are there? Around 50.

What do they want? The ERG has said Mrs May should abandon her plans for a unique trade deal and instead negotiate a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal.

This is based on a trade deal signed between the EU and Canada in August 2014 that eliminated 98 per cent of tariffs and taxes charged on goods shipped across the Atlantic.

The EU has long said it would be happy to do a deal based on Canada – but warn it would only work for Great Britain and not Northern Ireland.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Remain including the People’s Vote supporters

Who are they: Tory MPs who believe the deal is just not good enough for Britain. They include the group of unrepentant Remainers who want a new referendum like Anna Soubry and ex-ministers who quit over the deal including Jo Johnson and Phillip Lee.

How many of them are there: Maybe around 10.

What do they want? To stop Brexit. Some want a new referendum, some think Parliament should step up and say no.

A new referendum would take about six months from start to finish and they group wants Remain as an option on the ballot paper, probably with Mrs May’s deal as the alternative.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister.

Moderates in the Brexit Delivery Group (BDG) and other Loyalists

Who are they? A newer group, the BDG counts members from across the Brexit divide inside the Tory Party. It includes former minister Nick Boles and MPs including Remainer Simon Hart and Brexiteer Andrew Percy.

There are also lots of unaligned Tory MPs who are desperate to talk about anything else.

How many of them are there? Based on public declarations, about 48 MPs have either said nothing or backed the deal.

What do they want? The BDG prioritises delivering on Brexit and getting to exit day on March 29, 2019, without destroying the Tory Party or the Government. If the PM gets a deal the group will probably vote for it.

It is less interested in the exact form of the deal but many in it have said Mrs May’s Chequers plan will not work.

Mr Boles has set out a proposal for Britain to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) until a free trade deal be negotiated – effectively to leave the EU but stay in close orbit as a member of the single market.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

The DUP

Who are they? The Northern Ireland Party signed up to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservative Party to prop up the Government.

They are Unionist and say Brexit is good but must not carve Northern Ireland out of the Union.

How many of them are there? 10.

What do they want? A Brexit deal that protects Northern Ireland inside the UK.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister on the grounds they believe the deal breaches the red line of a border in the Irish Sea.

Labour Loyalists

Who are they? Labour MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and willing to follow his whipping orders.

How many of them are there? Up to 250 MPs depending on exactly what Mr Corbyn orders them to do.

What do they want? Labour policy is to demand a general election and if the Government refuses, ‘all options are on the table’, including a second referendum.

Labour insists it wants a ‘jobs first Brexit’ that includes a permanent customs union with the EU. It says it is ready to restart negotiations with the EU with a short extension to the Article 50 process.

The party says Mrs May’s deal fails its six tests for being acceptable.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister’s current deal.

Labour Rebels

Who are they? A mix of MPs totally opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, some Labour Leave supporters who want a deal and some MPs who think any deal will do at this point.

How many of them are there? Maybe 10 to 20 MPs but this group is diminishing fast – at least for the first vote on the deal.

What do they want? An orderly Brexit and to spite Mr Corbyn.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Other Opposition parties

Who are they? The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Caroline Lucas and assorted independents.

How many of them are there? About 60 MPs.

How will they vote? Mostly against the Prime Minister – though two of the independents are suspended Tories and two are Brexiteer former Labour MPs. 

From a Labour vote of no-confidence, to the Norway option and a People’s Vote, ROSS CLARK explains why every alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit deal will end in disaster 

True, the Prime Minister’s deal is not perfect, but it’s by far the best on offer. The alternatives range from a high-risk No Deal to the humiliation of Brexit being delayed or the prospect of a Corbyn government. Here, ROSS CLARK examines why – if MPs dump Mrs May’s deal as expected – every other option is horribly flawed… 

Theresa May (pictured on a visit in Stoke-on-Trent today) is desperately battling to get her Brexit deal through Pariament  

Theresa May (pictured on a visit in Stoke-on-Trent today) is desperately battling to get her Brexit deal through Pariament  

Theresa May (pictured on a visit in Stoke-on-Trent today) is desperately battling to get her Brexit deal through Pariament  

Staying in EU’s Customs Union

The plan: There’s no consensus in the Commons for any way forward, but this is being talked up as the most likely outcome. 

The customs union is a trade agreement between EU states which means they agree not to impose tariffs on each other’s goods. 

Staying in the union, or forming a new one, would mean the UK could continue to trade tariff-free with other EU countries. It is advocated by Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn saying yesterday that Brussels is ‘known for being flexible’ and could be open to negotiating the creation of a new union.

The problem: The UK would be unable to negotiate its own trade deals with major trading partners such as the US, China and Japan and would not regain our seat at the World Trade Organisation. Worse, the EU would dictate precisely how we trade with other nations. In sum, the opposite of the buccaneering international free trade policy promised.

Backers: Labour, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Remainer MPs and Ulster’s Democratic Unionists, who see it as being less likely to lead to a new border being drawn in the middle of the Irish Sea.

Likelihood: 2/10

No Deal

The plan: UK would leave the EU on March 29 with no agreement, no trade deal and no £39billion exit bill. Yes, there have been grave warnings about the ‘dire’ consequences – but in one sense this would be the most straightforward option for Mrs May.

It would mean we are free to export and import with any nation we want on World Trade Organisation terms. As things stand, this is the default position and would not require the Government to pass any legislation.

The problem: Considering the disruptive fall-out it is expected to create, most in Westminster say it won’t happen.

Mrs May has also firmly ruled it out. And even if forced to change her mind, she would face a majority of MPs of all parties fighting to stop her. According to the PM’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy, five Cabinet ministers would resign if we had No Deal.

Backers: Hard Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and his European Research Group of MPs, as well as fellow Tories such as John Redwood and Bernard Jenkin. 

Also, traditional Conservative party members – although an opinion poll published in Saturday’s Mail showed that 55 per cent of Tory voters don’t back No Deal but support Mrs May’s deal.

Likelihood: 1/10.

Rescind Article 50

Backers: Long-time Tory Europhile Kenneth Clarke, former PM John Major and other Conservative Remainers

Backers: Long-time Tory Europhile Kenneth Clarke, former PM John Major and other Conservative Remainers

Backers: Long-time Tory Europhile Kenneth Clarke, former PM John Major and other Conservative Remainers

The plan: This is the part of the Treaty of Lisbon used by the Government that allows any EU member state to quit unilaterally. Triggered on March 29, 2017, giving us two years to negotiate an exit deal, it would mean Brexit being put on ice.

This might be possible because the European Court of Justice ruled in December that we have the right, up to March 29, to rescind Article 50 and continue as an EU member under existing terms.

The problem: The Government would have to pass legislation in Parliament to achieve this and it would mean Mrs May going back on her promise that the referendum result must be respected.

Backers: Long-time Tory Europhile Kenneth Clarke, former PM John Major and other Conservative Remainers.

Likelihood: 2/10

A second referendum

The plan: Disingenuously called the ‘People’s Vote’ and the aim of Remainers who want to overturn the result of the first Referendum – which both Labour and Tory election manifestoes pledged to abide by.

The problem: Ministers would have to get legislation for such a vote – which would be difficult considering Mr Corbyn currently says he’s opposed to the idea despite being under huge pressure from his party’s grassroots.

It would also be deeply divisive and traumatic, as well as taking an estimated eight months to complete, keeping the country in limbo for even longer. It is most unlikely, in any case, to be achievable in the ten weeks left before March 29.

Backers: A motley bunch across the political spectrum including Tony Blair, Tory grandee Lord Patten, Alastair Campbell, and former Tory ministers Sam Gyimah, Justine Greening and Jo Johnson as well as Tory backbencher Anna Soubry.

Likelihood: 1/10

The ‘Norway option’

The plan: As a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) but not in the EU, Norway has access to the Single Market. 

But not being a member of the customs union, it’s free to strike it own separate trade deals. Many would like Britain to be in the same position.

The problem: Norway pays a big financial price for its access to the Single Market by paying into the EU Social Cohesion Fund. Crucially, this option would mean the UK having to accept free movement of people – which was a key factor in the referendum and is a red line for Mrs May.

It would also require the approval of other EFTA members, including Norway, which has suggested it would not give.

Backers: Cabinet minister Amber Rudd has raised the possibility. Tory MP Nick Boles has been a vociferous supporter along with Labour’s Stephen Kinnock. 

Last year, Michael Gove was reported to be in favour of a ‘Norway for Now’ approach, whereby Britain would join EFTA for a short term before negotiating a separate trade deal with the EU in the longer.

Likelihood: 2/10

The ‘Canada option’

Backers: Boris Johnson has called for a Super Canada deal, which he says would involve 'zero tariffs and zero quotas' on all imports and exports

Backers: Boris Johnson has called for a Super Canada deal, which he says would involve 'zero tariffs and zero quotas' on all imports and exports

Backers: Boris Johnson has called for a Super Canada deal, which he says would involve ‘zero tariffs and zero quotas’ on all imports and exports

The plan: A loose free trade agreement with Brussels similar to the one the EU has with Canada, which removes the vast majority of customs duties on EU exports to Canada and vice versa. 

Supporters of this option claim Canada has almost completely tariff-free trade in goods with the EU. European Council president Donald Tusk offered the UK this option last March.

The problem: Mrs May has tried to rule it out, saying: ‘We can do so much better.’ It would only affect mainland Britain, with Northern Ireland remaining in the customs union, and thus would not solve the problem with the Irish border. 

The Ulster Unionists propping up the Government will not support any arrangement creating a border between Northern Ireland and the mainland. Canada took seven years to negotiate and ratify its deal.

Backers: Boris Johnson has called for a Super Canada deal, which he says would involve ‘zero tariffs and zero quotas’ on all imports and exports.

Likelihood: 1/10

Mrs May calls a General Election

The plan: The PM could call everyone’s bluff and do as she did in 2017 by deciding to invite a national vote on her government’s record and credibility. Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, she’d need the Commons to agree. Mr Corbyn and his MPs would be morally bound to approve it since they’ve been clamouring for a general election for weeks.

The problem: Mrs May has promised she won’t lead the Tories into another general election. In any case, no Tory would want to risk a Labour government, formed of people who’re also deeply divided over Brexit.

Backers: Labour, Lib Dems and the Scottish Nationalists.

Likelihood: 1/10

A Labour vote of no-confidence

The plan: Asked yesterday, Mr Corbyn said this ‘would happen soon, don’t worry about that’. But he didn’t commit to a time, unlike many of his MPs who say it should be called immediately if Mrs May loses tomorrow’s vote.

The problem: Tories, even die-hard Remainers, are sure to unite to defeat the cynical bid to topple the Government.

Backers: Most Labour backbenchers and noisy frontbenchers such as Emily Thornberry and Barry Gardiner.

Likelihood: 6/10

 

https://textbacklinkexchanges.com/category/the-sun-world/

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply