This Weekend In Brexit: May Appeals To Labour Voters; Brexiteers Threaten To Bring Her Down; SNP Calls For 2nd Ref

Prime Minister says Conservatives are only option for moderates while Tory backbenchers plot to vote down key legislation.
<strong>Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.</strong>
Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.
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Theresa May has appealed for Labour backers to consider voting Tory, claiming her government was “moderate and patriotic” and “worthy of their support”.

Writing for the Observer, the Prime Minister said the end of austerity “is in sight” and that the Conservatives were dedicated to building homes and regulating markets.

But it came as hardline Brexiteers on her back benches were threatening to vote against the budget and bring down the government over the deal she was seeking with Brussels.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, said that her MPs would “undoubtedly” vote for a second Brexit referendum should it be put to them in Westminster, heightening the prospect of a so-called “people’s vote”.

May’s pitch for the centre ground comes as rumours of a new party forming swirl, with many Labour MPs uneasy with Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist agenda and Brexit rifts tearing the Tories apart.

“I want voters who may previously have thought of themselves as Labour supporters to look at my government afresh,” the PM wrote. “They will find a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support.”

May went on to say that anti-Semitism in Labour had grown on Corbyn’s watch and that Labour MPs were being targeted for deselection by left-wing members.

She added: “To be that party for the whole country, Conservatives must do more than demonstrate the flaws of Corbynism.

“We need to offer a positive and optimistic vision of the better future that our policies will deliver.”

<strong>Labour chairman Ian Lavery said the PM is resorting to "desperate pleas" </strong>
Labour chairman Ian Lavery said the PM is resorting to "desperate pleas"
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Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery rubbished May’s appeal as evidence theTories were “spooked” by the prospect of Corbyn winning power.

May was also thought to have angered anti-EU Tories by attempting to win support from Labour MPs for her Brexit deal.

Members of the Brexiteer faction the European Research Group (ERG) have vowed to vote down key government legislation - including the Budget - if May does not change course.

One Conservative rebel told the Sunday Times: “There are plenty of meaningful votes coming up. They still have to pass money resolutions. She hasn’t got a majority and by God she’s going to be shown that she hasn’t got a majority.”

The paper also reports that senior ERG member Bernard Jenkin told a WhatsApp group of fellow eurosceptics that passing a deal with Labour’s help would justify a major rebellion.

Nicola Sturgeon says her MPs would back a re-run of the Brexit referendum.
Nicola Sturgeon says her MPs would back a re-run of the Brexit referendum.
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The veteran Brexiteer told the group that a Brexit deal “pushed by the Conservative establishment but put through with Labour support” would “remove any sense of obligation among Conservative Brexit-supporting MPs to continue to support the government”.

Tory MPs may not be the only roadblock for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Sturgeon told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that any deal brought back from Brussels would be a “fudge”, which would be almost as bad as no deal at all.

She said the “Article 50” deadline of the UK leaving the EU in March 2019 should be extended if necessary, to allow more time for talks, and added that her MPs would get behind a new referendum on Brexit if the talks end without a satisfactory deal.

She said: “I think in those circumstances, sensible MPs of all parties should come together to look at the alternative. No doubt calls for a second referendum would grow in those circumstances, and I’ve said before we wouldn’t stand in the way of a second referendum. I think SNP MPs would undoubtedly vote for that proposition.”