Theresa May fights last-ditch battle to avoid biggest EVER Commons rebellion over Brexit deal

Theresa May fights last-ditch battle to avoid biggest EVER Commons rebellion over Brexit deal

The PM is speaking to European leaders to try and get last-minute tweaks to the withdrawal agreement.

She still intends to hold the Commons vote on her deal tomorrow night – even though allies have asked her to call it off.

More than 100 Tory MPs have spoken out against the withdrawal agreement as it currently stands.

That puts the PM on course for the worst Conservative rebellion in history – the previous record was a vote on gun control in 1996, where 95 MPs defied John Major.

In the worst-case scenario, Mrs May could end up with the heaviest Government defeat ever, according to politics professor Philip Cowley.

In 1924, Britain's first Labour Government lost one motion by 166 votes – while the PM could lose by 200 if all her critics vote against the deal.

As Mrs May fights for her deal – and her career:

  • Michael Gove promised the deal can be "improved" through talks with the EU
  • Boris Johnson led calls for the hated Irish backstop to be ditched
  • Euro judges ruled that Britain can cancel Brexit without permission from Europe
  • Top Tories made plans for a second referendum without an option to remain in the EU

The PM last night spoke to top Eurocrat Donald Tusk and Irish PM Leo Varadkar.

Today she is expected to call other European leaders, to try and find some way to guarantee the Irish backstop will never come into force without Britain's consent.

The backstop would trap the UK in the customs union, and create border checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Mr Gove told the BBC: "Of course we can improve this deal, and the Prime Minister is seeking to improve this deal."

But he warned that Brussels might try to squeeze more concessions from the UK if they reopened talks on the deal this week.

Ireland's deputy PM Simon Coveney said: "The deal that is there between the UK and the EU is not going to change. I hope people will see it for what it is, which is a fair, balanced document."

Mrs May will meet EU leaders at a summit on Thursday and Friday – regardless of the outcome of the vote.

Ministers have insisted the PM does still have a chance of winning tomorrow's vote.

Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan today hit out at the "wreckers" and called for the Tories to unite behind Mrs May.

But Boris Johnson said the deal could be fixed as long as the PM ditched the backstop.

He wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "We are told that the EU does not even like the backstop.

"Well, if the EU doesn't like it, and the UK Government doesn't like it, and the British people don't like it, why on earth is it there? Let us get rid of it and move on."

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