Isabel Hardman

Eurosceptics threaten to block Government delay to Brexit vote 

Eurosceptics threaten to block Government delay to Brexit vote 
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Could we end up with Parliament voting on the Brexit deal tomorrow anyway? Eurosceptic Tory MPs have reacted with fury to the announcement that the government will delay the vote, with a number threatening to vote against the delay. 

I understand that the European Research Group is currently discussing whether this is actually possible as an official position, but in the meantime MPs such as James Duddridge and Andrea Jenkyns have already made their threats public. 

However, sources tell me that the advice given to the ERG has been that the Government might not even have to call a vote on delaying the vote, as it can merely avoid moving the continuation of the debate. 

This would mean that the ERG could then accuse the Government of procedural trickery to avoid a confrontation over the mess it has made of the Brexit negotiations. Some of its members, like Duddridge, may well also have seen tomorrow’s vote as a means of undermining Theresa May’s leadership, as well as a point of principle on Brexit. This explains why they are threatening to vote against the delay, if that opportunity does arise: for some, tomorrow had turned into their day to bash May.

Written byIsabel Hardman

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is author of Why We Get The Wrong Politicians.

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