Senior UK Conservative Party members have reportedly been in private contact with at least 15 opposition MPs, urging that it was in the “national interest” at the moment to support the Prime Minister.
After the Conservatives conference in Birmingham, senior members of Conservative party revealed they had been in continuous talks with the Labour Party members in order to secure votes needed to push Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan forward, even if it means that opposition party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t become next country leader, the Guardian reported.
The talks had reportedly started after party members realized that they might need Labour votes to put the deal through parliament, as Prime Minister’s opponents within the party, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, announced they would vote against May’s plan.
The Tory sources pledged they were convinced that it is the national interest to avoid a no-deal outcome and it is more important than forcing another general election to defeat May’s government. One of the sources described the situation where they have to reach a deal with the EU27 that would satisfy both parties as “landing a jumbo jet on the penalty spot.”
A source within the Labour Party identified that at least 15 members are considering voting with the government rather than trying to “block Brexit” and about 30 are going to abstain rather than protest and lobby for hard Brexit.
“Labour has been clear from the outset that if Theresa May’s Brexit deal does not meet our six tests then we will vote against it in parliament,” another Labour source said.
He added: “The Tories are wrong to say it’s a choice between Theresa May’s deal or no deal. No deal is simply not a viable option. There is no majority in parliament to take the UK off a cliff in March 2019.”
The official Labour Party position, shared by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, is that the party would reject any Brexit plan which couldn’t meet six tests drawn by the party’s shadow Brexit secretary, one of which is that the UK after Brexit should have the “exact same benefits” as members of the single market and customs union.
The Conservatives are looking for ways to secure votes for May’s plan as the tensions within the party heat up. Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, has suggested that about 80 Tory rebels could vote against Prime Minister May’s vision of Brexit.
May is expected to deliver the details of her revised plan, based on the Chequers plan, to the EU on October 16. After that, the Prime Minister’s team would only have until November 16 to make any amendments. The plan should satisfy not only the EU members but the UK Parliament as well, and be approved through a voting procedure known as “meaningful vote.”