Tory rebels in move to block Theresa May’s Brexit plans

Peter Bone David Davis

However, it is far fewer than half of the party's 316 MPs, the number required to win such a vote.

Amendments striking at the heart of the Chequers scheme are being supported by leading Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Bernard Jenkin and Owen Paterson.

Jeremy Hunt, who has replaced Mr Johnson as foreign secretary, said he would be "four square" behind her.

And he warned: "A government that depends upon the opposition to get its business through is like the gingerbread man on the back of the fox crossing the river".

And former Conservative leader William Hague warned party rebels that voting against the Prime Minister's final deal could result in Brexit being indefinitely delayed or halted altogether.

May has spent the past few days fighting for her political life as first Brexit Secretary David Davis and then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit, saying May's plans for future relations with the European Union did not live up to their idea of Brexit.

However the plans released on Friday were only a curtain-raiser ahead of tomorrow's White Paper and most European Union capitals say it largely amounts to cherry-picking elements of the Single Market.

'The Chequers deal is a plan that has been put together, it's been agreed by government, ' she said as she arrived in Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

"We deliver that Brexit and we do it in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods and meets our commitment to Northern Ireland", she added.

However it was unclear whether they had the numbers to force a leadership challenge. "We are supporting Theresa for PM".


Being a "romantic on this issue" was "an indulgence not a policy", he told colleagues.

Only 14 per cent of readers have given their backing to the Chequers deal, which Mr Johnson said amounted to a betrayal of the European Union referendum vote.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: "I think they might have been taken to Brussels and to Berlin before they were presented at Chequers which is a serious question".

Fellow Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns, a vocal critic of Mrs May, said it was time to "put country first".

The Irish prime minister (taoiseach) Leo Varadkar has welcomed the Brexit statement made by the United Kingdom government at Chequers last weekend.

Under party rules, 48 Tory MPs - 15% of the party's 316-strong representation in the Commons - must write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, to trigger a no-confidence vote.

Mr Watson said Labour was keeping the option of a second Brexit referendum open in the case that Parliament could not decide a way forward, though he stressed that this route was "highly, highly unlikely".

And the former adviser to Mr Davis, Stewart Jackson, claimed there was a "plan" to curtail the role of the Brexit department and that Downing Street had blocked his reappointment under new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

But many pro-Brexit lawmakers are furious at a plan they say will stop Britain forging an independent economic course.

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