100 Tory MPs denounce Theresa May’s deal: IDS warns PM she must ‘stop’

100 Tory MPs denounce Theresa May’s Brexit deal: IDS warns PM she must ‘stop and listen’ – but Fox says it’s their ‘duty’ to support her

  • Theresa May has begun her charm offensive to win over MPs and world leaders  
  • An alliance of Tories and Labour MPs tabled an amendment to the Brexit Bill 
  • Liam Fox will warn Conservatives they must support the leader as rumours grow of up to 100 suggesting they are going to vote against the Brussels deal
  • The meaningful vote will take place on December 11 after months of tough talks 
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Theresa May is failing to sell her Brexit vision to her own MPs as up to 100 Conservative politicians said they will vote down her deal.

Despite embarking on her two week charm offensive – before her Brexit Bill goes before MPs in the ‘meaningful vote’ – politicians up and down the country remain sceptical of the offer on the table.

Without enough votes to see the Bill through Parliament, Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal with Brussels. 

Mrs May faces her biggest challenge to date as she attempts to win over MPs – yet recent counts say as many as 100 of her own back benchers, including up to 30 former ministers, will vote against the deal.

Jo Johnson who resigned from the cabinet over his objection to the deal with Brussels, said the defeat over Mrs May at the next election could be a ‘landslide’ if the Tories back her. 

Going down: Theresa May seeks to build support for her Brexit deal ahead of next month’s vote in the Commons. Pictured: The PM arriving at the G20 summit in Argentina this morning

Meanwhile, Mrs May has flown to Argentina to the G20 summit to convince world leaders her deal can work.   

Last night, Tories and Labour MPs got together to table an amendment to get rid of Mrs May’s deal, stop a no-deal Brexit and give MPs a choice in what follows.

Iain Duncan Smith said to The Telegraph: ‘When this many people tell you that you’re going down the wrong road, which will be damaging to the UK, it doesn’t matter who you are. You must stop, you must listen, and not just lecture. This whole plan to go round the country to try and put pressure on MPs isn’t working.

‘I do not want a conservative prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to face a defeat which could have been avoided. The consequences of that defeat could also be personally damaging for her, which I do not want.

‘It is time to think again.’ 

However, other MPs are backing Mrs May.   

Tory ex-rebel backs May’s Brexit deal 

Theresa May was boosted today when a Tory Remainer rebel came out in favour of the deal.

Antoinette Sandbach, one of a group of ‘Mutineers’ who threatened to block Brexit plans last year, said the package was ‘not perfect’.

But she added that voting against it would be ‘hugely destructive’.

The MP for Eddisbury said: ‘We should not allow the best to be the enemy of the good. This deal is not perfect, but the Prime Minister has done remarkable work putting together a compromise as good as this.

‘The agreement does not give any one group everything they want, but it does have something for everyone.

‘It puts in place controls on migration, protects jobs in the manufacturing industry and frees us from the political institutions of the EU.

‘Most of all it gets us out of the EU, and it respects the referendum result.’

Ms Sandbach’s move was a rare boost for Mrs May ahead of the vote.

Matthew Offord today became the 100th Tory to declare against the deal in the final countdown to the vote on December 11.  

Liam Fox will today issue a stinging rebuke to Tories who oppose the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal amid claims that as many as 100 of the party’s MPs could now vote against it.

The International Trade Secretary will accuse them of not facing up to the ‘tough choices’ that Theresa May has had to make in the negotiations.

And he will warn Conservative MPs that they have an ‘abiding duty’ to act in the best interests of the country.

Matthew Offord revealed yesterday he planned to vote against the Prime Minister’s plan. The MP for Hendon said he ‘could not support a deal’ which handed over £39billion ‘without certainty of a future trading relationship.’ 

Yesterday, in brutal clashes with a powerful Commons committee, the PM insisted contingency plans for crashing out of the bloc will have to be activated if Parliament rejects her package in a crunch vote on December 11.

But Labour’s Yvette Cooper said she did not believe Mrs May would follow through on no deal even after a catastrophic loss after the Treasury and Bank of England set out a doomsday scenario for the consequences.

She said Mrs May ‘not the kind of person’ who would inflict that outcome on the country. ‘I don’t think you will do it,’ she jibed.

The stormy exchanges came as the government tries to step up the pressure with less than a fortnight to go before the titanic Commons showdown on her plan – and Mrs May seemingly on course for disastrous defeat.

The premier appealed for MPs to ‘focus on the choice that lies in front of them’, insisting her settlement with Brussels ‘delivered on the referendum’.

She warned that Tories condemning the deal had to be aware that there are ‘some members of Parliament who do not want to leave the EU’. But she insisted she was determined to stick to the Brexit date of March 29 next year.

This week the Bank of England warned if the deal is not back the nation could be plunged into crisis. However, the message was accused of painting ‘Project Hysteria’ with its bleak picture of a no-deal scenario.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that more than half of UK firms were completely unprepared for a no-deal Brexit. 

Yet, in unreleased minutes, however, the bank allegedly admitted what it put out could be ‘misleading’.

The Telegraph saw minutes which said ‘a suggestion of apparently precise scenarios could be misleading and liable to misinterpretations’.

Iain Duncan Smith has hit out at the deal and said Mrs May should rush back to the drawing board before she faces a personal defeat 

  • May’s eyes swished like two wipes on a tractor: QUENTIN… Immigration RISES again to 273,000 almost three times the… ‘It is game, set and match to you’: Farage congratulates… ‘This is Project Hysteria’: Brexiteers slam Bank of England…

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Bank of England chief Jay Carney yesterday warned the pound would crash, inflation will soar and interest rates would have to rise in the event of a no deal disorderly Brexit.

Bank Governor Mark Carney said the impact of Brexit would depend entirely on whether there was a deal but said he had a duty to spell out what might happen. 

The figures are contained in a ‘worst case scenario’ published by the Bank which suggest that under a chaotic exit from the EU without a deal: 

  • The size of the economy could plunge by 8 per cent in less than a year – further and faster than the financial crisis of 2008 
  • At the same time, the unemployment rate would rise 7.5 per cent, meaning hundreds of thousands losing their jobs 
  • Inflation would surge 6.5 per cent, sending prices in the shops surging House prices could plunge 30 per cent, while commercial property prices are set to fall 48 per cent 
  • The pound would fall by 25 per cent to less than parity against both the US dollar and the euro

But he faced a backlash from Eurosceptic MPs, who accused him of mobilising ‘Project Hysteria’ in support of Mrs May’s deal.

Mrs May is attempting to get backing from the nation as she tours the country talking to constituents – but Cabinet ministers are questioning the tactic when the people she must win over are in Westminster. 

One of the key events in her timetable will be a debate with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.

However the PM and the leader of the opposition failed to agree even on which channel the clash should be broadcast.

Theresa May wants it to be held on December 9 on the BBC, at 8pm – but the Labour MP wants the battle to be on ITV at 7pm – before the final of ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.’

Dr Fox will become the latest Cabinet Brexiteer to come out in support of Mrs May’s agreement ahead of the meaningful vote on December 11. The Mail revealed yesterday that Andrea Leadsom is also backing the deal.

But the scale of the task was illustrated last night by reports that 100 Tory MPs are now preparing to vote against the agreement, a number which would appear to give it little chance of passing the Commons.

Mrs May did receive a boost last night when the Remainer Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach said she would back the deal. She said that, while the deal was not perfect, ‘no one could have done better’ and voting against it would be ‘hugely destructive’.

Mr Fox will today offer his full backing to the Prime Minister when he tells an audience that though her deal won’t please everyone, it provides a ‘firm and stable base’ on which to leave the EU.

He is due to outline Britain’s global trade role, saying it is ‘time to raise our sights, and acknowledge there is a world beyond Europe, and a time beyond Brexit’.

Dr Fox was reported to be among a group of five Cabinet ministers seeking to tweak Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement before MPs vote on December 11. In his speech he will appeal for unity, saying: ‘Now is the time to set aside our differences, and lead our country to a future of freedom, success, and prosperity. In politics we cannot always have the luxury of doing what we want for ourselves, but we have an abiding duty to do what is right for our country.’ 

Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has backed Mrs May and will accuse them of failing to understand the efforts of Mrs May

May spends 18 HOURS at the Despatch Box in a month to defend Brexit 

Theresa May has spent 18 hours at the Commons Despatch Box in a month defending her Brexit plans.

Downing Street said more than half the time was from just the past two and a half weeks since the details of the deal emerged.

The Prime Minister has been hammered on all sides of the House in a series of marathon statements and PMQs sessions.  

News that she has won over Antoinette Sandbach is a significant win for Mrs May because she is one of Parliament’s prominent Remainers and it suggests she may win over others.

Miss Sandbach said: ‘The Prime Minister has done remarkable work putting together a compromise as good as this. The agreement does not give any one group everything they want, but it does have something for everyone.’

Mrs Leadsom’s support suggests backing from the other side of the Brexit spectrum. Yesterday, arch-Brexiteer Mr Gove offered his support, telling the Commons that the Government’s deal on fisheries had caused ‘anger’ in Paris.

Prime Minister Theresa May has a tough job ahead of her to get the Brexit deal through Parliament 

He said: ‘As an independent coastal state we will be able to decide who comes into our waters and on what terms.’

Mrs May will become the first British PM ever to visit Buenos Aires. She was stung by criticism from Donald Trump this week, who said her proposals were ‘a good deal for the EU’.

But Downing Street said Mrs May would now use the meeting of leaders from the world’s biggest economies to stress the fact her deal would allow the UK to develop an ‘independent trade policy’.

Mr Lidington warned that with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson now a ‘standard bearer’ for many on the far-Right, there could be an ‘ugly’ reaction to a second referendum.

Such a move could be seen as an ‘attempt by the political elite to set aside a democratic verdict’, he warned. ‘That would pose a risk of a radicalisation.’

It came as reports emerged that Mrs May’s Brexit adviser Olly Robbins has reportedly drawn up a secret blueprint to let Britain unilaterally abandon guarantees over the Irish border.

A No 10 spokesman said it would not comment on leaks.

Is May’s deal already sunk? 100 Tories have already come out against it meaning she must find almost 100 votes from Brexiteer rebels, DUP and Labour to get it through the Commons

Theresa May has secured her deal in Brussels but her fight to get it actually in place in time for Brexit day is just beginning.

The ‘meaningful vote’ promised to MPs will happen on December 11 and is the single biggest hurdle to the Brexit deal happening – and Mrs May’ fate as PM.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.

The situation looks grim for Mrs May and her whips: now the deal has been published, 100 of her own MPs and the 10 DUP MPs have publicly stated they will join the Opposition parties in voting No.

This means the PM could have as few as 225 votes in her corner – leaving 410 votes on the other side, a landslide majority 185.

This is how the House of Commons might break down:

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The Government (plus various hangers-on)

Who are they: All members of the Government are the so-called ‘payroll’ vote and are obliged to follow the whips orders or resign. It includes the Cabinet, all junior ministers, the whips and unpaid parliamentary aides.

There are also a dozen Tory party ‘vice-chairs and 17 MPs appointed by the PM to be ‘trade envoys’.

How many of them are there? 178.

What do they want? For the Prime Minister to survive, get her deal and reach exit day with the minimum of fuss.

Many junior ministers want promotion while many of the Cabinet want to be in a position to take the top job when Mrs May goes.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

European Research Group Brexiteers demanding a No Confidence Vote

Who are they: The most hard line of the Brexiteers, they launched a coup against Mrs May after seeing the divorce. Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker.

How many of them are there: 26

What do they want: The removal of Mrs May and a ‘proper Brexit’. Probably no deal now, with hopes for a Canada-style deal later.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Other Brexiteers in the ERG

Who are they: There is a large block of Brexiteer Tory MPs who hate the deal but have so far stopped short of moving to remove Mrs May – believing that can destroy the deal instead. They include ex Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex minister Owen Paterson.

Ex ministers like Boris Johnson and David Davis are also in this group – they probably want to replace Mrs May but have not publicly moved against her.

How many of them are there? Around 50.

What do they want? The ERG has said Mrs May should abandon her plans for a unique trade deal and instead negotiate a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal.

This is based on a trade deal signed between the EU and Canada in August 2014 that eliminated 98 per cent of tariffs and taxes charged on goods shipped across the Atlantic.

The EU has long said it would be happy to do a deal based on Canada – but warn it would only work for Great Britain and not Northern Ireland.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Remain including the People’s Vote supporters

Who are they: Tory MPs who believe the deal is just not good enough for Britain. They include the group of unrepentant Remainers who want a new referendum like Anna Soubry and ex-ministers who quit over the deal including Jo Johnson and Phillip Lee.

How many of them are there: Maybe around 10.

What do they want? To stop Brexit. Some want a new referendum, some think Parliament should step up and say no.

A new referendum would take about six months from start to finish and they group wants Remain as an option on the ballot paper, probably with Mrs May’s deal as the alternative.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister.

Moderates in the Brexit Delivery Group (BDG) and other Loyalists

Who are they? A newer group, the BDG counts members from across the Brexit divide inside the Tory Party. It includes former minister Nick Boles and MPs including Remainer Simon Hart and Brexiteer Andrew Percy.

There are also lots of unaligned Tory MPs who are desperate to talk about anything else.

How many of them are there? Based on public declarations, about 48 MPs have either said nothing or backed the deal.

What do they want? The BDG prioritises delivering on Brexit and getting to exit day on March 29, 2019, without destroying the Tory Party or the Government. If the PM gets a deal the group will probably vote for it.

It is less interested in the exact form of the deal but many in it have said Mrs May’s Chequers plan will not work.

Mr Boles has set out a proposal for Britain to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) until a free trade deal be negotiated – effectively to leave the EU but stay in close orbit as a member of the single market.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.


Who are they? The Northern Ireland Party signed up to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservative Party to prop up the Government.

They are Unionist and say Brexit is good but must not carve Northern Ireland out of the Union.

How many of them are there? 10.

What do they want? A Brexit deal that protects Northern Ireland inside the UK.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister on the grounds they believe the deal breaches the red line of a border in the Irish Sea.

Labour Loyalists

Who are they? Labour MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and willing to follow his whipping orders.

How many of them are there? Up to 250 MPs depending on exactly what Mr Corbyn orders them to do.

What do they want? Labour policy is to demand a general election and if the Government refuses, ‘all options are on the table’, including a second referendum.

Labour insists it wants a ‘jobs first Brexit’ that includes a permanent customs union with the EU. It says it is ready to restart negotiations with the EU with a short extension to the Article 50 process.

The party says Mrs May’s deal fails its six tests for being acceptable.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister’s current deal.

Labour Rebels

Who are they? A mix of MPs totally opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, some Labour Leave supporters who want a deal and some MPs who think any deal will do at this point.

How many of them are there? Maybe 10 to 20 MPs but this group is diminishing fast – at least for the first vote on the deal.

What do they want? An orderly Brexit and to spite Mr Corbyn.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Other Opposition parties

Who are they? The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Caroline Lucas and assorted independents.

How many of them are there? About 60 MPs.

How will they vote? Mostly against the Prime Minister – though two of the independents are suspended Tories and two are Brexiteer former Labour MPs. 

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