THERESA May has vowed to push ahead with her crunch vote on Brexit next week – even as minister begged her to scrap it.
The Prime Minister defied her critics this morning to insist she has no plans to put off the crucial Commons showdown.
She told the BBC today: “We’re in the middle of 5 days of debate which will lead to a vote on this issue… they are voting on the deal.”
And she refused several times to be drawn on whether she could cancel it altogether.
At least three Cabinet ministers are believed to be trying to persuade the PM to put the December 11 vote off. And Labour plans to issue a vote of no confidence if May loses.
According to the Daily Mail, one said: “We need to be creative and we need to get the DUP back on board. It can be done, but it can’t be done before next Tuesday.”
Another said: “Marching people into the valley of death next Tuesday is a mistake.”
With the clock ticking, and unrest across Parliament, some senior Tories have suggested she delay the vote.
According to the Telegraph, EU leaders would offer her a chance to extend the Article 50 deadline if she is voted down in the Commons next Tuesday.
It could give Britain more time to negotiate a deal before the March 29 axe falls.
But Downing Street has always ruled out a date change.
Senior Tories on both sides of the Brexit divide predicted Britain’s EU departure date of March 29 will now be delayed as ministers will be forced to put together a new softer option to please Parliament.
The news comes as:
May is trying to salvage her deal and win over Conservative dissenters by giving a MPs a vote on the Northern Irish backstop, she confirmed this morning.
The PM revealed her last-ditch plans today to try and win around Tory rebels into supporting her deal next week, as she faces almost certain defeat.
Damning legal advice yesterday revealed the backstop plan for Northern Ireland would tie us down to the EU forever – which is one of the main reasons MPs hate her deal so much.
Mrs May acknowledged today that “people have a concern of the backstop, that we could be in it definitely” but argued that the other option of staying in a transition would mean paying more money to the EU and accepting unlimited EU immigration for longer too.
She said that killing off her proposals could end up in the UK leaving the bloc with No Deal – or would risk no Brexit.
Ministers were voted to be in contempt of Parliament for the first time ever – and were forced to release a stream of legal documents which proved her deal risks splitting Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK “indefinitely”.
And a separate vote proposed by rebel Tory Dominic Grieve gave MPs the power for what happens in the event that Parliament rejects her deal next week.
But International Trade Secretary Liam Fox blasted it as a plot to “steal Brexit from the British people”.
The DUP, which props up her administration, warned they won’t carry on backing the party if she ploughs on with the plans.
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