Three Tory Ministers Urge Theresa May To Take No-Deal Brexit Off The Table

Now 15 ministers are reportedly ready to resign.

Three ministers have urged Theresa May to take a no-deal Brexit off the table as they threatened to back a Commons move to force a delay if her deal is voted down.

Richard Harrington, Claire Perry and Margot James said the government should say it will seek a way to extend Article 50 to avoid leaving with no deal on March 29 if there is no agreement.

Writing in the Daily Mail, they warned against being “swept over the precipice on March 29”, and said: “It is a commitment that would be greeted with relief by the vast majority of MPs, businesses and their employees.

“We implore the Government to take that step this week.

“But if the Prime Minister is not able to make this commitment, we will have no choice other than to join MPs of all parties in the House of Commons, including fellow ministers, in acting in the national interest to prevent a disaster in less than five weeks’ time that we may regret forever.”

The paper also claimed 15 ministers would be ready to resign to stop no deal.

In another sign of May’s weakening authority, The Sun reported May is to propose to Cabinet she will formally rule out a no-deal, opening the door to a delay.

In another busy 24 hours for Brexit, the Labour Party said it is prepared to back a second referendum to prevent a “damaging Tory Brexit” if its withdrawal plan is rejected by MPs this week.

Jeremy Corbyn said he would put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote to stop May’s deal being “forced on the country” if his Brexit demands are not met.

It came after May suggested she could try to take her EU withdrawal agreement through parliament before it has been formally approved by the other 27 member states.

Amid growing pressure to delay Brexit with just 32 days left on the clock, the Prime Minister insisted it is “within our grasp” for Britain to leave the EU with a deal on March 29.

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European Council president Donald Tusk revealed that he had discussed the legal and procedural process for extending the two-year Article 50 withdrawal negotiations with May when he met her on Sunday in Egypt.

Tusk said delaying the UK’s withdrawal beyond March 29 is now a “rational solution”, warning that the only alternative, if MPs cannot agree a deal, is “a chaotic Brexit”.

Despite also facing pressure from pro-Europe Tories for a delay, the Prime Minister insisted in a press conference at the end of a summit of EU and Arab nations that she was sticking to her timetable.

“It’s within our grasp to leave with a deal on March 29 and that’s where all of my energies are going to be focused,” she said.

Challenged over whether MPs would be able to vote on any additional assurances she secures from Brussels before they have been formally signed off by the EU27, May told reporters: “It is possible to do it either way.”

Tusk said it was “absolutely clear” that if there was no majority in the Commons to approve a deal, Britain faces “chaotic Brexit or extension”.

The meetings came after the PM admitted she will not get a Brexit deal in time for MPs to hold a “meaningful vote” this week.

She said she will put her deal to Parliament by March 12 at the latest – 17 days before Britain is due to leave the EU.

The PM faces the prospect of another potentially damaging Commons revolt on Wednesday, when MPs are expected to mount a fresh attempt to block a no-deal break and extend Article 50.

A cross-party group of MPs immediately confirmed they will table an amendment giving the House the power to demand a delay to Brexit if an agreement is not in place by March 13.

In recent days three pro-EU Cabinet ministers – Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark – signalled they could be prepared to back the amendment if there is no breakthrough in negotiations.

There was speculation that up to 100 Tory MPs – including as many as 20 ministers – could be prepared to join them as patience among MPs opposed to no deal is stretched to breaking point.


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