Dozens of Labour MPs 'could defy Jeremy Corbyn and back Tory Brexit'
Dozens of Labour MPs could defy Jeremy Corbyn and back the Conservatives in a crunch Commons vote on Brexit, it has been claimed.
Between 30 and 40 Labour backbenchers are minded to support an agreement that looks like the Chequers strategy championed by Theresa May rather than risk Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal, sources have told the Times.
The Prime Minister will put the deal she strikes with Brussels to the Commons in a so-called ‘meaningful vote’ before Christmas, giving MPs the chance to vote it down.
Labour has all-but confirmed its MPs will be whipped to vote against whatever plan she comes back with and has argued a general election must be triggered if the Government loses the vote.
But one Labour MP told the Times it was “nonsense” to suggest a general election could be the result - as pro-Brexit Tories would never accept a route for Mr Corbyn to win power.
An ex-frontbencher told the paper: “Even the leadership of the party now recognises that if it looks like the alternative is no deal, they won’t be able to instruct the party to vote in a particular way and they’ll do it.”
They added: “If the Chequers deal is good enough, we’ll vote for it.”
The Times also reports that Theresa May will hold an extended Brexit discussion with her Cabinet next week to persuade them to back further Brexit compromises on the eve of her crunch summit with the bloc.
She is expected to ask them to support a commitment to keep the whole of the UK in an effective customs union after Brexit but with a “clear process” of how to exit, the paper says.