50 Tory MPs rally against the possibility of a ‘No Deal’ on Brexit, but Mrs May stands her ground.
In the two years since Britain voted to leave the EU there’s been endless back and forth between Westminster and Brussels on the terms of the UK’s severance from Europe, but seemingly no amount of cajoling from the Tory ‘rebel’ Remainers can steer Theresa May off her path to a hard Brexit.
With the deadline fast approaching, can Mrs May get the deal she’s after before tumbling overthe proverbial Brexit cliff-edge and into the tumultuous and uncharted waters of a ‘No Deal’?
Mrs May has come under increased scrutiny this week from a group of ‘more than 50’ Tory MPs who say they will do whatever it takes to stop a ‘no deal’ with Brussels. Since talks began, the Prime Minister has taken a hard negotiating line, threatening to walk away with no deal should her preferred terms not be accepted.
One of the dissenting Tory MPs said that “Parliament will find a way to stop a no-deal Brexit happening if that’s what it takes – including Conservative MPs like myself”.
Civil servants have advised the government that the country could face shortages of food and medicine as well as ‘huge tailbacks at the UK’s borders’ if she were to walk away without a deal.
But one former cabinet minister said that “There are at least 50 Conservative MPs who would be prepared to vote to stop that happening, which would be more than enough to force the government to take notice”
As if the pressure of 50 ‘rebellious’ MPs wasn’t enough, May also has the small task of reassuring the business world that walking away without a deal would be a good thing. That doesn’t seem to be going to plan following a statement from Airbus, the aerospace company, that they could remove their UK operations if Brexit wasn’t dealt with appropriately.
Not one to back down lightly, the Prime Minister is sticking to her guns despite the pressure. She’s also backed by her International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, who told Sky News this weekend that, “We’ve got to be free in the negotiation to say if we don’t get the deal we want, there won’t be any agreement.”
Despite the bloc of MPs ready to defy Mrs May, there’s also a letter signed by 60 business figures and politicians urging the government to “accelerate plans to operate under World Trade Organisation Rules”.
Those lending their name to the document include ‘former chancellor Nigel Lawson, vocal Brexiteer John Redwood, and Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin’.
Philip Davies, a leading Brexiteer and Conservative MP for Shipley, fully backs the Prime Minister and said of the dissenting voices, “I really think that they are being unhelpful and should get behind the prime minister and allow her to go and negotiate the best possible deal for the UK. They are making her job much harder.”
Ultimately, it will be Prime Minister Theresa May who makes the final call, that is, unless she can’t strike a deal by March 2019.