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PM risks a furious backlash from Tory Brexiteers

Theresa May risked a backlash from Tory Cabinet Brexiteers last night after she signalled her intention to win over Labour MPs to get a deal through the Commons.

Moments after the deal was crushed, the Prime Minister said she would hold meetings with senior MPs ‘from across the House’ to find ideas that Parliament could support and take to Brussels.

Despite previously insisting ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, Mrs May also said she did not think a ‘no-deal’ outcome was what people voted for.

Theresa May risked a backlash from Tory Cabinet Brexiteers last night after she signalled her intention to win over Labour MPs to get a deal through the Commons

Her comments will spark concern among Tory MPs – including in Cabinet – who fear Mrs May could try to soften the deal and Brexit to buy off opposition votes.

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, former Remain backers urged the PM to cut a deal with Mr Corbyn. 

But a clear split emerged as more Eurosceptic ministers urged the PM to focus on getting fresh concessions out of Brussels, and party chairman Brandon Lewis warned the PM she could face a grassroots revolt if she reaches out to Mr Corbyn’s party.

Mrs May did not go as far as suggesting she would hold formal talks with the Labour leader. 

But she could speak to biddable backbenchers who want the UK to leave with a deal. She told MPs: ‘If the House confirms its confidence in this Government I will then hold meetings with my colleagues, the DUP and senior Parliamentarians from across the House to identify what would be required to secure the backing of the House.’

And in comments that will alarm those in the Cabinet who want a no-deal strategy, Mrs May used her speech at the end of the debate to say: ‘I do not believe that is what the British people voted for, because they were told that, if they voted to leave, they could still expect a good trading relationship with the European Union.’ But she did not say no-deal was off the table.

Earlier at Cabinet, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd urged the PM to ‘reach out’ to Labour and attempt to find a compromise, even if it meant accepting a permanent customs union with the EU.

Miss Rudd was backed by Business Secretary Greg Clark, Justice Secretary David Gauke and Energy Minister Claire Perry, who all argued that Mrs May had to switch to a Plan B if her deal hit the rocks, which would ultimately need Labour MPs’ support. 

But party chairman Brandon Lewis warned the PM she would face a grassroots Conservative uprising if she tried to cut a soft Brexit deal with Jeremy Corbyn.

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, former Remain backers urged the PM to cut a deal with Mr Corbyn. But a clear split emerged as more Eurosceptic ministers urged the PM to focus on getting fresh concessions out of Brussels, and party chairman Brandon Lewis warned the PM she could face a grassroots revolt if she reaches out to Mr Corbyn’s party

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, former Remain backers urged the PM to cut a deal with Mr Corbyn. But a clear split emerged as more Eurosceptic ministers urged the PM to focus on getting fresh concessions out of Brussels, and party chairman Brandon Lewis warned the PM she could face a grassroots revolt if she reaches out to Mr Corbyn’s party

Tory sources said Mr Lewis intervened during a heated Cabinet debate yesterday on how the Prime Minister should respond to a thumping Commons defeat. 

He reportedly told ministers that, with Tory activists content with a no-deal Brexit, any move to work with Labour would be seen as an act of betrayal. ‘The party wouldn’t wear it,’ he said. 

A string of other ministers also spoke out against shifting towards Labour. Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Liam Fox, Gavin Williamson and Liz Truss all said Mrs May should instead focus on wringing fresh concessions out of Brussels. 

Mrs May has so far shunned calls to open talks with Labour, arguing that the party’s MPs could never be relied upon to support government policy.

Last night one Cabinet minister told the Mail Labour would ‘never agree to any sort of deal’ adding: ‘It’s not in their political interests and Jeremy Corbyn is political to his fingertips.’ Other ministers want Mrs May to make a concession to backbench Tories on the Northern Ireland backstop.

Last night one Cabinet minister told the Mail Labour would ‘never agree to any sort of deal’ adding: ‘It’s not in their political interests and Jeremy Corbyn is political to his fingertips.’ Other ministers want Mrs May to make a concession to backbench Tories on the Northern Ireland backstop

Last night one Cabinet minister told the Mail Labour would ‘never agree to any sort of deal’ adding: ‘It’s not in their political interests and Jeremy Corbyn is political to his fingertips.’ Other ministers want Mrs May to make a concession to backbench Tories on the Northern Ireland backstop

One said she should adopt the Murrison amendment – which would insert a sunset clause into the backstop.

If it passed she could use that as ‘leverage in Brussels’. Mrs May told Cabinet that the 2016 referendum result would trump any Commons defeat. 

She indicated she would push ahead with her deal regardless. The PM also dismissed calls to take no-deal off the table.

Miss Rudd led calls for the Government to ‘take the lead’ on ruling out no-deal before parliament did. 

And Commons leader Andrea Leadsom warned that a push by former ministers Nick Boles, Nicky Morgan and Sir Oliver Letwin to empower parliament to force the Government to rule out no deal, was a real danger. Mrs Leadsom said that for the first time she feared Brexit ‘might not happen at all’. 

But Education Secretary Damian Hinds argued that no deal had to be kept on the table to focus minds on the need to support the Government’s deal with Brussels. 

Meanwhile Greg Clark made an ‘impassioned’ plea for Mrs May to rule out no-deal, warning it would have a ‘devastating’ effect on the economy. Downing Street later confirmed that Mrs May still believes no deal is better than a bad deal.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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