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Brexit news latest: Theresa May faces most serious revolt of her premiership over no-deal

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 22/02/2019 Sean Morrison

David Mundell et al. sitting and standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Theresa May is facing the most serious revolt of her leadership as dozens of Tory MPs warn they could rebel against the government in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit.

Up to 100 Conservative MPs who want to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc are reportedly ready to stage a rebellion if the Prime Minister’s reworked agreement cannot command a majority in Parliament next week.

Video: Theresa May saddened by MP departures (The Independent)

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The Brexit Delivery Group, which represents both Remain and Leave MPs, is calling for a free vote in the Commons on a backbench move to take no deal off the table, according to The Telegraph.

A letter sent on behalf of the group to chief whip Julian Smith states that many MPs are "deeply troubled" at the prospect of a no deal, the newspaper reported.

a person sitting on a table: Brexit chaos: Theresa May is braced for a ministerial revolt (AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by Local News RSS EN-GB Brexit chaos: Theresa May is braced for a ministerial revolt (AFP/Getty Images) The letter stated that "numerous" members intend to back amendments taking the no-deal option off the table and delaying Brexit if a rejection of the Government's deal looks likely.

And the group warned that up to 100 moderate Tory MPs are prepared to rebel against the Government to force Mrs May to delay Brexit if she cannot reach a deal, The Telegraph said.

And up to 25 members of the Government are prepared to rebel and vote for a Brexit delay unless Mrs May rules out a no-deal scenario, according to the Guardian.

Brexit in-depth: The latest news, analysis and expert opinion

It comes as fresh Brexit talks were scheduled for early next week as Mr May heads towards another Commons showdown on her EU withdrawal stance.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox announced they will hold talks again with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the coming days on the Northern Ireland backstop.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay held talks in Brussels on Thursday (REUTERS) © Provided by Local News RSS EN-GB Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay held talks in Brussels on Thursday (REUTERS) Ahead of crunch Commons votes expected next Wednesday, Mrs May will travel to an EU-Arab summit in Egypt this Sunday.

While Government sources have been keen to dampen talk of a "deal in the desert", the PM is expected to have meetings with EU leaders on the sidelines of the gathering.

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As the clock ticks down to the UK's scheduled exit from the EU on March 29, the PM faces a rebellion by up to 100 Tory MPs who want her to delay Brexit if she cannot cut a deal, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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After talks in Brussels on Thursday, Mr Barclay said both sides had agreed discussions should continue "urgently at a technical level".

The PM believes that securing legally binding guarantees on the backstop is key to getting her Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons.

The backstop arrangements would see the whole of the UK remain in a customs union with the EU and Northern Ireland following some single market rules until a wider trade deal is agreed, in order to prevent the need for checkpoints on the Irish border.

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