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Sat, 11 July 2020

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Major boost for Boris Johnson as Tory 'Spartans' pledge support for Brexit deal

Major boost for Boris Johnson as Tory 'Spartans' pledge support for Brexit deal
2 min read

Boris Johnson has been given a major boost by so-called Brexit 'Spartans' after the Eurosceptic group vowed to vote for his EU deal.

A raft of senior Conservative eurosceptics have vowed to begrudingly support Boris Johnsons's deal in a bid to deliver Brexit.

Members of the European Research Group, said they had "real problems" with the plans - but warned people were "dog tired" of the Brexit debate.

There was speculation that the loss of support from the the Government's confidence-and-supply partners, the DUP, would harden the resolve of the so-called Brexit 'Spartans', but at an emergency meeting on Saturday morning, ERG chair Steve Baker advised the group to back the deal. 

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Baker said he had given the advice to the group after Friday night talks with Mr Johnson.

"The advice of the ERG steering group and the officers is to vote for the deal," he told journalists after the session.

Meanwhile, deputy chair Mark Francois added: "No colleague in the meeting said they would vote against the deal."

And former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, said the public were "begging" the group to back the deal.

"We have got real problems with this deal, I accept that," he said.

"But people are dog tired of this debate. They are begging us: 'make progress'. We have to back this deal."

The last minute pledge of support from the 28-strong group will boost Mr Johnson's chances of passing his deal through the Commons, but will still require him to win support from a number of rebel Labour MPs.

Fellow senior Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin added: "This deal is hundreds of miles from perfect. It has terrible elements, but we are where we are. At least [Boris Johnson] has substantially improved it and it now points in a far more positive direction for our country."

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