Spartan Tories insist staying in the EU is BETTER than voting for May’s deal

Spartan Tories insist staying in the EU is BETTER than voting for May’s deal

Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May's Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the

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Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May‘s Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the impasse.

The hardline intervention is a fresh blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes that sending MPs away from Westminster for a week of Easter holidays would cool tempers.

Mrs May herself is in Snowdonia trying to find a new strategy for getting her deal through Parliament after it was crushed three times by MPs.

At the last vote she was still defied by 28 Tory Brexiteer rebels in the hardline European Research Group. Since the vote, the number of rebels has if anything gone back up.

One of them, former Cabinet minister David Jones, said a long extension inside the EU was better than signing up for the deal. He said delay allowed time for a new deal or better preparations for No Deal. 

He was backed by Stewart Jackson, a former Tory MP and chief of staff to David Davis when he was Brexit Secretary. 

Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May's (pictured in Wales on Sunday) Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the impasse

Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May's (pictured in Wales on Sunday) Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the impasse

Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May’s (pictured in Wales on Sunday) Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the impasse 

One of them, former Cabinet minister David Jones, said a long extension inside the EU was better than signing up for the deal. He said delay allowed time for a new deal or better preparations for No Deal.

One of them, former Cabinet minister David Jones, said a long extension inside the EU was better than signing up for the deal. He said delay allowed time for a new deal or better preparations for No Deal.

One of them, former Cabinet minister David Jones, said a long extension inside the EU was better than signing up for the deal. He said delay allowed time for a new deal or better preparations for No Deal.

Mr Jones told Politico: A reasonably long extension of the Article 50 period, though unwelcome, is preferable to entering the transitional arrangement set out in the Withdrawal Agreement,’ 

‘It enables us to elect a new party leader and then hold an election seeking a mandate for an early withdrawal, if necessary, on World Trade Organization terms.

‘It is not the big problem that the EU thinks it is.’ 

Mr Jackson told the site: ‘It’s not a deal — it’s a binding international treaty with no unilateral exit mechanism or end date, which colonizes a part of the UK to a foreign sovereign entity.’ 

He added: ‘We cannot ‘lose’ Brexit because we voted for it. It doesn’t matter how long it will take, it’s more important than the Tory Party.

‘You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, the impact will be too corrosive to our democracy.’ 

Mrs May’s troubles have continued to mount while she has been on holiday this week as senior activists plot to remove her.

An emergency meeting will be called if 65 Conservative Association chairmen sign a petition demanding one. Between 40 and 50 are thought to have done so. 

The petition blames Mrs May for Brexit being delayed twice and says she is the wrong person to lead the negotiations with the EU onward. 

Even if 65 chairmen sign the letter it will take at least 28 days for the emergency meeting to be called – and no confidence vote would not be enough to force Mrs May out, though defeat would be a fresh humiliation for the PM.

An emergency meeting could also seek to change party rules to dislodge Mrs May but this would take even longer. 

Mrs May is protected under party rules from a fresh challenge by her MPs until at least December after Brexiteers tried and failed to remove her last year.

Despite the stalemate, rivals to replace her as Tory leader and PM are campaigning in Westminster while she is on holiday in north Wales. 

 

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