Labour plots to trigger Tory civil war over Brexit deal with EU

Dominic Raab gives update on Brexit

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Labour has moved quickly in a bid to split the Tories by urging Rishi Sunak to rely on their votes as a massive potential rebellion is brewing on his own benches over Brexit. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves told BBC Breakfast this morning that Labour has agreed to back the Prime Minister’s deal if he is able to sign it off this afternoon with the EU.

With the Prime Minister set to enter the final round of talks at lunchtime with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, tensions are rising in Westminster over what might be in the deal.

But yesterday a senior Whitehall source warned that “nobody will get everything they want but everybody will get something. The issue will be whether it is enough for people to grudgingly accept it or not”.

A Tory backbencher late last night texted “People aren’t happy.”

The MP added that his colleagues are getting “very angry.”

There is frustration that the Democratic Unionists (DUP) and European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brexiteers chaired by Mark Francois have not even seen a written text yet and the Prime Minister is planning to bulldoze his deal through Parliament.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Ms Reeves said: “Labour has been clear that if there is a deal between the UK Government and EU improving on the current situation then we will support it.

“This is not a time to play politics. It is too important.”

But in a move designed to split an already festering Conservative Party, she added: “The Government does not need to worry about the rebels in their own party [because Labour votes will mean the deal has a majority].”

Already senior Conservative MPs are warning the Prime Minister of the consequences of using Labour votes to get a deal through.

One senior member of the ERG told “If he gets the deal through with Labour votes then the poison it will create in the party will not go away.”

Already there is a threat of around 100 Conservative MPs rebelling if the deal is seen as a sellout over Northern Ireland although the Prime Minister is hopeful he can persuade many more of his colleagues.

There is also the possibility of ministerial resignations with names like Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt all said to be “unhappy”.

Both his predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have also been needling Mr Sunak over the issue urging him to simply stick with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which deals with the problem unilaterally.

If there is an attempted coup against Mr Sunak as a result of anger over the deal, Mr Johnson has been positioning himself for a comeback.

But speaking to yesterday, Mr Sunak said: “If we do get there this is something that is very positive for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said, “this will show that Brexit truly works and will finish the job.

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