Brexit rebels tell Theresa May - Your EU divorce deal is dead

Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May's Brexit deal will be "dead" if MPs reject if for a fourth time, ministers have admitted.

The majority of MPs in anti-EU Tory faction the European Research Group (ERG) will vote against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal when it is presented to parliament next month, a minister has said. The United Kingdom is now scheduled to leave, with or without a deal to smooth the exit, by October 31.

Whether this has a chance of success depends on whether enough MPs would be willing to vote for Labour's Brexit plan without it being subject to another referendum.

Brexit had been due to take place on March 29, but the deadline has since been extended to October 31 to buy the government more time to come up with a plan almost three years after British voters opted to leave the EU.

The comments by former soldier, defence select committee member, and foreign affairs select committee chair Crispin Blunt come after a series of polls showed sustained growth of support for the Brexit party.

"If the House (of Commons) has not passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill then there are growing voices in Europe, not least the French, who want to move on to other issues", he said.

Asked whether the vote would be considered a "confidence" vote for the Prime Minister, a source said: "That's not the world that we are now in, but clearly the significance of this piece of legislation can't and I suspect won't be underestimated".

May reached out to Corbyn across the Commons despite fury for many of her hard Brexit backbenchers.

It expressed concern that any promises made by May, for example to protect workers' rights in return for Labour backing the Brexit deal, would be ripped up by her successor.

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Defeat in the vote would likely spell the end of May's divorce deal and probably her premiership.

Britain could then leave the European Union on 31 July. But if we, under a new leader, reinvent ourselves properly as a Brexit party, we will be faced with the inevitability at some point of a general election in order to deliver Brexit because this parliament is stopping the delivery of Brexit.

Cross-party Brexit talks between Labour and the Tories have so far failed to produce a compromise agreement.

This could keep Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit to avoid border checks that might jeopardise peace in Northern Ireland.

The Democratic Unionist party has said it is "highly likely" May's deal would be defeated again unless the prime minister can "demonstrate something new that addresses the problem of the backstop", and that is a proviso also likely to apply to Tory Eurosceptics who have previously voted down the agreement.

Senior ministers agreed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, however, to press ahead with the talks, May's spokesman said.

May's chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, is due in Brussels to discuss changes to the political declaration on the UK's future relationship with the EU.

However, she is under pressure from Brexiteers maneuvering against a compromise with Labour - with some Conservatives eyeing her position.

DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said: "If the prime minister brings the withdrawal bill to the Commons for a vote, the question will be, 'What has changed?'".

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