DUP 'could back Labour plot to topple Theresa May if Brexit deal falls'

Posted On: 
10th December 2018

The DUP could back a bid by Labour to bring down Theresa May if she fails to get her Brexit deal through the Commons, it has been reported.

The DUP have continued to pledge their support for the Government despite disagreements over the Brexit deal
Credit: 
PA

According to the Daily Telegraph, the two parties have held talks on whether a censure motion against the Prime Minister should be tabled if, as expected, she suffers defeat in tomorrow night's meaningful vote.

The paper said Labour insiders hope a move against Theresa May personally rather than a motion of no-confidence in her government as a whole is more likely to garner support from Tory MPs who want to oust her.

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A source close to the Labour leadership: “It’s fair to say that we’ve been having discussions with the DUP about what is to come after the vote.

“That is certainly an option. There is a feeling amongst some that the time of maximum danger for her is immediately after the vote on Tuesday.

“But there are differences of opinion, tactical considerations to take into account. There are other who think we shouldn’t just rush ahead because we can.”

Senior Labour MPs, including Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, had suggested that a vote of confidence in the government was “inevitable” should it fail to get backing from MPs for its Brexit plan, but pulled back after the DUP vowed to vote against the motion.

Last week, the DUP’s Brexit spokesperson Sammy Wilson said his party would refuse to back the Brexit deal in Tuesday’s vote but that there would be "no cause to bring the Government down on that basis".

But he warned that his party reserved the right to withdraw their support if "the Prime Minister or the Government continues to try and pursue the same route set out in this agreement".

A DUP source refused to deny meetings with Labour had taken place, but added that the party was focussed on “defeating” the Northern Ireland backstop by voting down Mrs May's deal.

“That is where all of our efforts are, everything else is secondary to that," they said.

“It is not in our interests to dictate who should be the leader of the Conservative Party and we are not going to insert ourselves into that debate.”