CABINET ministers broke ranks to call for a softer Brexit deal yesterday as Theresa May headed for an ever-bigger record defeat.
The PM is on course for an eye-watering defeat by a majority of 228 during the meaningful vote on Tuesday, research by the BBC found.
Theresa May is on course for an eye-watering defeat by a majority of 228 during the meaningful vote on Tuesday[/caption]
In a huge blow to No10, it emerged that 19 more MPs have come out to oppose her EU agreement since she delayed a vote on it in December, fearing a catastrophic drubbing.
Judging by their public comments so far, a total of 433 MPs will still vote against it – including 111 Tories – and just 206 will back it.
It came as Theresa May called Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest union donor – Unite’s Len McCluskey – as part of a new charm offensive to woo Labour backers to her deal.
She also called GMB general secretary Tim Roache for the first time in three years as the Government signalled it would back an amendment by Labour MPs to protect workers’ rights.
In an attempt to woo more Labour backers, Mrs May phoned Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest union donor — Unite’s Len McCluskey[/caption]
In one ray of hope for the PM, two Tory MPs revealed they had switched to supporting the PM, including her former policy chief George Freeman who said: “We’re playing with fire”.
No10 are hopeful of whittling down the scale of the defeat over the weekend, and as many as 20 Labour MPs are also expected to declare backing for her.
But No10 aides still fear a three-figure thrashing, with one saying last night: “There is no indication the dam is about to break. It is going to be very hard”.
The biggest Commons defeat on record was by a majority of 166, against the minority Labour government in 1924.
The largest post-war defeat was by 89, on the Callaghan minority Government in 1979.
Meanwhile, Business Secretary Greg Clark became the most senior Tory to publicly break ranks and call on all MPs to make fresh compromises for a softer Brexit deal yesterday.
As the PM’s authority continues to collapse, the Cabinet minister appeared to have already dismissed any hope of the PM winning the key vote next Tuesday.
Business Secretary Greg Clark became the most senior Tory to publicly break ranks and call on all MPs to make fresh compromises for a softer Brexit deal yesterday[/caption]
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Instead, Mr Clark branded no deal “a disaster” and WTO terms “a dire prospect”.
And he called on Parliament to “move quickly and act responsibly”.
He added: “Parliament needs to recognise we need to put differences aside. I hope colleagues in the days ahead will recognise our collective responsibility to get a deal”.
No10 refused to slap down Mr Clark, in a sign of the PM’s weakness, but said “disaster” was not a word the PM would use.
The DUP, whose 10 MPs the PM relies on to prop up her minority government, also kept up their hard line.
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