Cabinet ministers 'warn Theresa May rebels could topple government'

Posted On: 
25th February 2018

Three Cabinet ministers have reportedly warned Theresa May that the Government could fall this year if Tory rebels unite with Labour to block her plans for Brexit.

Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions earlier this week

According to the Sunday Times, Chief Whip Julian Smith told the Prime Minister last week there was a "very real threat" of Conservative MPs lining up with opposition parties to defeat the Government over membership of the customs union. 

Senior ministers have also apparently suggested Mrs May could turn that vote into a confidence issue, effectively daring her own MPs to bring down their own government. 

EU chief Donald Tusk slams UK Brexit plans as 'pure illusion'

Tony Blair blasts Brexit MPs for 'sickening' proposal to scrap Good Friday Agreement

Pro-Brexit ministers claim victory as Cabinet agrees compromise at marathon meeting

During talks at Chequers last week, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley is also said to have warned that the Tories cannot rely on the DUP to save the Government if it comes to a close vote.

And Brexit Secretary David Davis said Eurosceptic MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg were now "militarised" against any changes to the Government's Brexit position, including accepting a customs union. 

The European Research Group of MPs set out its demands in a letter earlier this week giving "suggestions" to Mrs May over Brexit.

Elsewhere Boris Johnson has reportedly insisted that allowing the UK to diverge from European regulation must be a red line in the upcoming negotiations over the future trading relationship. 

“Boris makes no distinction between the offer and our bottom line. This is what we must get," a source told the Sunday Times.

After a tumultuous start to the year, Mrs May is due to convene a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday, followed by a speech on Friday setting out her Brexit position once more. 


Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn is due to give a speech tomorrow giving Labour's backing to remain in a customs union after Brexit. 

“The EU is not the root of all our problems, and leaving it will not solve all our problems," he is due to say. 

"Likewise the EU is not the source of all enlightenment, and leaving it does not inevitably spell doom for our country. Brexit is what we make of it together.”