Politics

Brexit LIVE: ‘Remainers have taken over!’ Jacob Rees-Mogg rages as May told to quit

In a move, which threatens to tear the Tory party apart, Mrs May will meet the Labour leader today after ignoring more than a dozen senior Tories, including Liam Fox, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid, who spoke out against a long Brexit delay. Tory Brexiteers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, exploded with rage at Mrs May’s concessions, describing it as “appalling”.

Mr Rees-Mogg criticised the offer as “deeply unsatisfactory” and accused Mrs May of working with a “known Marxist”.

The chair of the European Research Group (ERG) told Sky News: “I think getting the support of a known Marxist is not likely to instil confidence in Conservatives.

“This approach to government is an unsuccessful one and it also lacks democratic legitimacy.

“People did not vote for a Corbyn-May coalition government – they voted for a Conservative government, which became a confidence and supply with the DUP.

“This is a deeply unsatisfactory approach – it’s not in the interests of the country, it fails to deliver on the referendum result and history doesn’t bode well for it.”

Former foreign secretary, Mr Johnson, said: “It is very disappointing that the cabinet has decided to entrust the final handling of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.”

Iain Duncan Smith added: “This is an utter disaster. We are just about to legitimise Corbyn. It’s appalling.”

Deputy political editor, Beth Rigby, tweeted: “‘It’s really kicking off’, someone in the ERG tells me: ‘This cannot be allowed, the cabinet have to move against May. The ’22 chairman has to go to her and tell her she has to go.”

Mrs May will meet Mr Corbyn today for talks after delivering a bombshell speech to the nation on Tuesday where she spoke of her hopes to “break the logjam”.

The Tory leader’s decision to meet Mr Corbyn came despite 14 senior Tories, including Jeremy Hunt, Liam Fox, Gavin Williamson, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Chris Grayling, Stephen Barclay, Jeremy Wright, Andrea Leadsom, James Brokenshire, Baroness Evans, Alun Cairns and Brandon Lewis, speaking out against a Brexit delay.

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9.21am update: Brexit extension could be shaped by Corbyn

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said any formal request for an extension to EU would come on April 10 and any request will be shaped by discussions with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

9.07am update: Remainers have taken control of Brexit – Rees-Mogg 

The Brexiteer said Leave voters had been left “disenfranchised”. 

The European Research Group chairman said: “I think the difficulty is the process has now been taken over entirely by people who voted Remain.

“By doing what can seem a conciliatory thing, reaching out to the Labour Party, all that’s happening is Leave voters are being disenfranchised and that’s a fundamental problem.”

He said he believed Mrs May’s deal was “bad”, but he would still back her as Conservative leader.

He said: “I have more confidence in Theresa May than in Jeremy Corbyn, though that’s not necessarily a very high bar, and Mr Corbyn – even as deputy – is still not the prime minister.”

8.59am update: UK heading for no deal Brexit ‘by default’

Theresa May’s failure to demonstrate strong leadership and the inability of MPs to say what they want from Brexit means “no deal by default” is a distinct possibility, a political analyst has said.

Professor Tony Travers, director of LSE London, a research group based at the London School of Economics, said the ongoing chaos over the process of Britain leaving the EU was also highlighting the shortcomings of the world’s oldest Parliamentary democracy.

Prof. Travers was talking the day after Parliament staged another round of inconclusive indicative votes aimed at breaking the deadlock, which was followed by MPs trying to rally round a bill aimed at ruling out a no deal Brexit.

Mrs May yesterday chaired a seven hour cabinet meeting with her ministers, at the end of which she announced she would be asking for a delay beyond the current April 12 deadline, and appealed for help from Jeremy Corbyn to get a deal through Parliament – with the Labour leader likely to insist she agrees to the idea of the UK being part of a permanent customs union with the EU.

8.38am update: Corbyn leaves home 

The Labour leader left his home in Islington, north London, just before 8.30am. 

He did not answer questions from reporters on whether his party would save Brexit, if he would work with the Prime Minister or compromise, simply replying: “Good morning.”

8.34am update: Britain heading for ‘soft Brexit’ 

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the “remorseless logic” of the Commons meant the UK was heading for a softer Brexit.

He told the Today programme: “It’s undesirable but it’s the remorseless logic of the numbers of the House of Commons.

“The Prime Minister’s deal won’t go through and no deal in law is taken off the table, then the consequence of that is either a soft Brexit or no Brexit at all.”

Mr Barclay blamed hard Brexiteers in the ERG who refused to support Mrs May’s deal.

He said: “It’s regrettable that what we have been saying for several months now is coming to pass but that is the remorseless logic of not backing the Prime Minister’s deal.

“Because the alternative then is to have to seek votes from the opposition benches because 35 of my own colleagues would not support the Prime Minister’s deal.”

8.09am update: Tories face questions over May vote of confidence 

Tory Brexiteer MP Andrea Jenkyns said she was unsure whether she would back Theresa May in a confidence vote.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme she said: “Would I vote against her in a no confidence, that takes a lot of thinking about.

“I don’t want Jeremy Corbyn to get into Number 10.

“I firmly believe Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to work with the Prime Minister because he just wants chaos and he wants to get into Number 10 so it’s not to his benefit to work with the Prime Minister.

“I know that if the Withdrawal Agreement comes back I will still vote against it.”

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