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Theresa May is facing her Brexit vote 'hell week' - here's how it could play out

Mirror logo Mirror 10/12/2018 Nicola Bartlett
a person that is standing in the rain holding an umbrella: On Tuesday night Theresa May faces a vote that could make or break her premiership © AFP/Getty Images On Tuesday night Theresa May faces a vote that could make or break her premiership

We've heard talk of Brexit "hell week" before. But this time, it's the real thing.

On Tuesday night Theresa May faces a vote that could make or break her premiership.

MPs will vote for or against her Brexit deal - and more than 100 Tories are threatening to rebel over a clause that could keep EU customs rules in the UK.

If the defeat is heavy, it could force the Cabinet to turn around and order the Prime Minister to quit. Even if it's light, Tory infighting could lead to her demise.

Here is your day-by-day guide to the turmoil that could lie ahead.

Monday 10 December

a white sign with black text © Credits: Dan Kitwood

Government whips are in a desperate fight to win over wavering MPs as the hours tick down to the crucial vote.

With more than 100 left to convince they will be frantically trying to arm twist and cajole those who look like they might crack.

Having lost another member of the government over the weekend, Downing Street are braced for further resignations as they enter the final hours.

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In the Commons the debate turns to the Union - looking at how leaving will affect Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Since the Irish backstop is the issue creating the biggest headache for the PM, and with DUP MPs not known it’s set to be an fiery afternoon in the House.

Number 10 are under huge pressure to pull Tuesday’s vote to avoid a crushing defeat but they were tonight insisting it would go ahead.

Tuesday 11 December

a person standing in front of a building © Credits: Jack Taylor

Theresa May faces a battle for her political survival as MPs prepare to vote down her deal.

Downing Street will be braced for tens of Tories to vote against the government but there could be a real bloodbath after more than 100 have publicly said they cannot back the deal.

All eyes will be on the Commons, where government whips will be holding frantic conversations down to the wire.

As the clock hits around 7pm, MPs will first vote on an amendment by Hilary Benn which could effectively rule out the need for a vote on the deal at all.

The Benn amendment opposes May’s deal, rejects no deal, and gives parliament the chance to find an alternative.

Benn’s amendment gives Theresa May a way out because MPs will not actually have voted against her deal - but the effect will be the same - killing off the deal she took months to secure.

If MPs vote on her deal then all sides now expect her to lose, from which point she will be on borrowed time in Number 10.

Tory Leavers have already started to put their hats in the ring for the leadership.

Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab all took to the TV studios to make their pitch on Sunday.

Wednesday 12 December

a person sitting in front of a window: Theresa May has insisted she won't delay the vote © AFP/Getty Images Theresa May has insisted she won't delay the vote

The morning after the night before will see politicians lining up to condemn the Prime Minister and call on her to go if the defeat is as humiliating as many predict.

If it is voted down by big numbers, the markets are set to plummet as the country hurtles towards a damaging no deal.

Leading EU figures like the Brexiteers' bogeyman Jean-Claude Juncker will also be sure to weigh in.

Ruthless Tory MPs may decide to give the PM the boot by submitting 48 letters to the chair of the Backbench 1922 committee.

Despite the turmoil Mrs May will have to face a Commons baying for blood as she takes what could be one of her last Prime Minister’s Questions at midday.

She will be braced for attacks from all sides of the House as MPs line up to call for her to quit after her disastrous defeat.

The Prime Minister may be forced to come up with an alternative, such as Norway plus or even floating the idea of a second referendum, to keep the wolves from the door.

Boris Johnson, and other leading Tories, will be piling on the pressure for Mrs May to quit so they can seize power.

Labour, who insist they are ready for a minority government, may choose to call for a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister, or they may bide their time hoping for the government to fall apart on its own.

Thursday 13 December

a group of people looking at a screen © REUTERS

A battered and bruised Theresa May is expected to jet off to Brussels to attend the EU December summit.

Sources suggest she will try and secure a last minute change to the agenda so she can beg EU leaders for Brexit concessions.

The Prime Minister will use the threat of no deal to try and scare fellow heads of government into giving her an amended deal she can try and sell to the Commons.

Desperate Mrs May will face the battle of her career to persuade the EU who have already signed off on her deal after months of negotiations.

Friday 14 December

a man wearing a suit and tie © Credits: AFP/Getty Images

A severely wounded Mrs May returns from Brussels on borrowed time.

She will likely have to try and persuade the same MPs who rejected her deal just days earlier to give her a second chance.

Unless the PM has secured a major concession her future will be left hanging by a thread and disgruntled Tory Brexiteers may seize on this moment to plunge in the knife.

Labour may force a no confidence vote or rather hold their nerve to let the Tories tear themselves apart.


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