Resistance

Theresa May making a statement to the House of Commons on Monday ahead of the crunch Brexit vote next week.
Theresa May making a statement to the House of Commons on Monday ahead of the crunch Brexit vote next week.

The Prime Minister is set to resist pressure from Cabinet ministers and order her MPs to vote against moves to stop a No Deal Brexit.

The Commons will vote on a series of proposals on Tuesday that could radically change the course of Brexit – including delaying the UK’s departure from the EU.

Theresa May has been warned by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd that dozens of ministers who fear a No Deal ‘cliff edge’ could quit if they are blocked from joining efforts to postpone the leaving date.

Yesterday groups of MPs determined to stop No Deal tabled a string of amendments which could wrestle control over Brexit from the Government. But Mrs May will resist the moves and instead focus on efforts to secure changes to the Irish ‘backstop’ – designed to prevent a hard border in Ireland if trade talks falter – with the hope of trying to get an amended version of her deal through.

No final decision has been made by No10, but sources said Chief Whip Julian Smith is keen to order MPs not to back the amendments.

The source said: ‘The chief’s instincts are that we have to oppose these things. A final decision we’ll make nearer the day.’

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged Mrs May at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting to try and secure parliamentary support for a time-limit on the Irish backstop. Yesterday one minister broke ranks by publicly calling on the PM to give MPs a free vote on the next steps for Brexit. Solicitor General Robert Buckland warned that efforts to seize control of Parliamentary process could succeed and cause ‘chaos’.

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