Brexit news latest: ‘Up to 40 ministers to resign from government’ if Theresa May bans Tory MPs from voting against no deal

Up to 40 government ministers have reportedly told No10 they will resign if they are banned from voting against a no deal Brexit.

It is understood the internal movement against no deal is being led by work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, who is said to have urged Downing Street to allow Tory MPs a free vote.

And the Daily Telegraph reported at least four other Cabinet ministers delivered further “stark” warnings to Prime Minister Theresa May over no deal.

This morning, Iain Duncan Smith, who voted against Mrs May’s deal, told Today: “As you would if you were in business or any sort of project you are doing, you always get the expert and they do the negotiations.

“What we now need is absolutely, 100%, daily political leadership under the Prime Minister, reporting back.

“And alongside that individual you have already sitting in the trade department probably the world’s expert on trade arrangements and I would like to see that individual in.”

Asked what this meant for Olly Robbins, Theresa May’s chief Europe adviser, Mr Duncan Smith added: “I have no particular problem if Olly Robbins is still there et cetera, my point is that they would support that process.

“But what you need is a very strong focused team now, and politically led, that’s my personal view.”

The Times reported a government source as insisting blocking no deal would aid her negotiating prospects with EU leaders: “If done properly this could help the prime minister go to Brussels in a stronger position.”

Tory HQ has effectively been put on a snap general election “war footing” due to the Brexit impasse in Parliament, according to the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave his strongest backing yet to the possibility of a second referendum – something Mrs May remains strongly against.

He said: “Our amendment [to Mrs May’s Brexit motion] will allow MPs to vote on options to end this Brexit deadlock and prevent the chaos of a no deal.

“It is time for Labour’s alternative plan to take centre stage, while keeping all options on the table, including the option of a public vote.”

However, Labour’s amendment was carefully worded and did not explicitly say the party would officially support a second referendum.

His remarks came as Mrs May claimed a second referendum could “damage social cohesion”.

“There has not yet been enough recognition of the way that a second referendum could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy,” she said.

His remarks came as Mrs May claimed a second referendum could “damage social cohesion”.

“There has not yet been enough recognition of the way that a second referendum could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy,” she said.

Last night Mrs May announced she was scrapping a £65 fee for EU nationals wanting to remain in the UK after Brexit, promised to guarantee workers’ rights and environmental safeguards.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had assured him the EU remains “firmly supportive” of the Withdrawal Agreement in full, including its guarantees of no hard border in Ireland.

https://www.standard.co.uk

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