Cabinet 'tells Theresa May she will have to quit' if Brexit deal defeated

Posted On: 
8th December 2018

Cabinet ministers have reportedly told Theresa May that she will have to quit if she loses the vote on her proposed Brexit deal on Tuesday and is then unable to negotiate better terms.

The Prime Minister is under intense pressure over her deal with the EU.

According to the Telegraph, Theresa May's top ministers confronted her on Thursday over her plan B for a Commons defeat, with one telling the paper the Prime Minister “will fall” if she does not fundamentally alter the deal with Brussels.

Ministers are said to believe that there is a “zero” per cent chance that the deal will pass the House of Commons, while the paper also reports that three middle-ranking Brexiteer ministers are considering quitting ahead of Tuesday's vote.

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Mrs May's agreement has been publicly criticised by over 100 Conservative MPs as well as the DUP, who Mrs May relies on for her Parliamentary majority.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith also piled the pressure onto the PM, warning Mrs May and her Cabinet that they cannot “brazen it out” if they lose Tuesday’s vote. 

The leading Brexiteer said: “How the PM responds after the vote matters more than anything else she has done. I believe that if the response is we’ve lost but we will do this all over again it will become a leadership issue.”

“I don’t want it to be,” he added. “If she and the Cabinet decide to brazen it out and simply say anything under [a defeat of] 200 is not as big as you think then that would be a disaster.”

His sentiments were echoed by another of Mrs May’s predecessors as Tory leader, Lord Michael Howard.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the PM "will have very difficult decisions to make about her future and the future of our country" after Tuesday’s vote.

The Times also reports on a cross-party plot to get rid of Mrs May if her deal falls.

According to the paper, Labour will ask MPs to signal their opposition to the Prime Minister with a vote expressing no confidence in her ability to do the job.

A similar censure motion was used to try and embarrass Transport Secretary Chris Grayling earlier this year over disruption to rail services, and the opposition has reportedly begun approaching Conservative and DUP MPs in a bid to get their support.