Senior Conservatives vowed last night to fight a guerrilla campaign to stop a “disastrous” no-deal Brexit after inflicting the first Commons defeat on a government finance bill in more than 40 years.
Twenty Tory MPs, including seven former cabinet ministers, broke a three-line whip to restrict the Treasury’s powers to prepare for leaving the European Union without a deal in March.
The rebels, who included the former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon and the former Cabinet Office minister Sir Oliver Letwin, warned that they would continue to sabotage all no-deal Brexit legislation until Theresa May ruled out the option.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that a majority in this house will not allow a no-deal exit to occur at the end of March,” Sir Oliver told MPs.
Significantly, the Tory rebellion brought together the supporters of a second referendum and former Remainers who now back Mrs May’s deal or a Norway-style soft Brexit.
Well, yes. Except there’s no majority in the House for any of the other available options either. Whihc, given that no deal is he default is something of a problem, isn’t it?
It’s that old political problem really. Sure, w’re all in favour of sugar, spice, things nice, it’s the plan to get from here to there which is the problem.
So, other than no deal and WTO terms, what can you actually gain a majority of the House for? And, an important little caveat, a deal the EU itself would agree to?