A Remain alliance of Labour, nationalists and rebel Tories will join together today to seize control of the Commons agenda to stop a no deal Brexit from the Brussels bloc. But in the eleventh hour, Boris Johnson will sit down with Tory rebels, nicknamed the ‘Rebel Alliance’, for last minute talks to ask them not to side with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and instead support his no deal Brexit approach.
Westminster is tonight braced for an extraordinary showdown that could lead to a snap election as a cross-party Remain alliance takes on the Prime Minister.
A text sent by a Downing Street source, seen by politics news site Politco.co.uk, read: “If we lose this vote it would destroy our negotiating position, and force the PM to accept an unlimited extension from Brussels.
“This is clearly not acceptable. Someone needs to ask rebels how siding with Jeremy Corbyn and allowing the EU to impose any extension it chooses upon the UK compatible with our ability to govern our own affairs?”
Politico said Mr Johnson was hoping to intimidate Tory rebels into voting with the Government this evening.
He will “pick them off one by one”, the news website said.
Mr Johson last night insisted he would never hand back the power to the EU and ask for a delay beyond October 31.
The move would set course for a snap election.
His threat came as a warning to Tory rebels part of the Remainer alliance, who will today use obscure procedures to try to take control of business agenda usually determined by the government and force through new laws.
They are expected to ask Commons Speaker John Bercow to grant permission for a vote allowing them to grab hold of control of the order paper.
Labour’s Hilary Benn would then present the European Union (Withdrawal) (no 6) Bill to Parliament.
It has been signed by senior Tories, including Philip Hammond, ex-justice secretary David Gauke and former foreign office minister Alistair Burt.
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READ MORE: EU capitulates: Dominic Raab says Brussels ready to give in
8.27am update: Hammonds vows to fight if deselected
Former Chancellor Philip Hammond said he plans to stand as Tory at next election and threatened legal action against Conservative HQ if Boris Johnson tries to cast him out of the party for rebelling.
He said: “There would certainly be the fight of a lifetime if they tried to.”
Asked if they have the power to oust him, he replied: “I don’t believe they do. And there would certainly be the fight of a lifetime if they tried to.”
Quizzed over that meant taking legal action he told the BBC: “Possibly.”
8.21am update: Justine Greening will not stand in election
Justine Greening, a former education secretary and pro-second referendum Conservative MP, has confirmed that she will stand down at the next election.
The Putney MP told the Radio 4 BBC Today programme: “It has been on my mind for some time, this is not an overnight decision.”
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