THERESA MAY was last night urged to delay her crunch Brexit vote or face the chop by the Tory party’s ‘kingpin’ backbencher.
Sir Graham Brady – the MP who guards no confidence letters – said the PM had to find a way Britain can leave the post-Brexit ‘backstop’ by itself or face inevitable defeat on December 11.
Tory sources said Sir Graham Brady’s thinly veiled warning was a sign Theresa May was ‘finished’ unless she finds a way Britain can exit the backstop unilaterally[/caption]
And if she needed more time she should defer the vote to another day.
In an explosive intervention he said: “I don’t see why there should be an objection to providing an end date, three years’ time, or that we could leave when circumstances arrive.
“I think it would be perfectly sensible to delay for a few days.”
He added: “There is no point in ploughing ahead and losing the vote heavily.”
Theresa May is said to be facing the prospect of her deal losing by a margin of 200 votes[/caption]
It came as the PM called an emergency Cabinet to discuss options such as deferring the vote – given fears the Government will lose by 200 votes.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd asked the PM what she wanted to do- only to get a “non-committal” answer.
And sources told The Sun she may try and give the Commons an annual veto on the backstop in a bid to appease rebel MPs.
Under this plan, which could be tabled in amendment on Monday, MPs would have the power to trigger a formal exit process that would still require the EU’s sign off every year.
Amber Rudd is said to have questioned the PM over her plans if she’s defeated[/caption]
The PM has also suggested giving MPs a vote on whether to extend the transition period – meaning billions more for the EU – or falling into the backstop in the first place.
The backstop kicks in if the UK and EU fail to strike a new trade deal by December 2020 – effectively splitting the UK from Northern Ireland and tying us to EU customs rules indefinitely.
Tory sources said Sir Graham Brady’s thinly veiled warning was sign Theresa May was “finished” unless she finds a way Britain can exit the backstop unilaterally.
One ex-Cabinet Minister said: “We’re in the end game.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs the British economy could not cope with the chaos of a No Deal and they should back the PM’s deal[/caption]
Downing Street yesterday insisted there were no plans to change the timing of the December 11 vote.
But in a crunch Cabinet meeting, ministers summoned to No.10 warned her there was no way the Government could stomach a loss by 200 votes.
A source told The Sun: “There was a general agreement we can’t lose a vote by 200. But there was dismay that the PM didn’t put her cards on the table.
“Amber [Rudd] asked her outright what she wants to do – and she didn’t say a thing.”
Earlier Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs the British economy simply could not cope with the chaos of a No Deal.
MOST READ IN BREXIT
Former Labour PM Tony Blair advises Theresa May to cancel Brexit vote
And urging the Commons to back the PM’s deal, he said anyone claiming the EU would renegotiate the broader terms of the agreement were “delusional”.
Mr Hammond said: “I have observed this process at close quarters for two-and-a-half years. And I am absolutely clear about one thing – this deal is the best deal to exit the EU that is available or that is going to be available.”
The Sun yesterday revealed aspiring backbencher Johnny Mercer had become the 104th Tory MP to declare he would vote against the deal.
And yesterday a Tory insider said: “There will be more resignations to come. There’s no way they’re winning this vote.”
- GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org