Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to try to take control of the business in the House of Commons has been thwarted by the Tory rebels who originally stood to try to block a no deal Brexit. ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston has claimed the Tory rebels decision to stand against the Labour Party leaders plot, was because they felt Britain’s chances of securing a Brexit deal were being “undermined”. Writing on Twitter, Peston claimed the Prime Minister and his key adviser, Dominic Cummings, will be “chortling into their coffees as we speak” at the failed move by Mr Corbyn.
Peston wrote: “So believe it or not, the 21 Tory MPs expelled from the parliamentary Conservative party, plus Rudd who quit, refused to support opposition MPs who wanted to put down an SO24 motion that would have allowed MPs to seize control of parliament’s business on any day between now and Brexit day on 31 October.
“Labour and SNP had ordered all their MPs to London to support the motion. But now it won’t be put on the order paper till next Tuesday, if at all.
“The point of the motion was to give MPs the power to pass whatever legislation they thought they need to stop a no deal Brexit on 31 October.
“But the Tory rebels apparently now buy the Johnson and Cummings argument that MPs flexing their collective muscles to stop a no deal Brexit is undermining their chances of getting a deal.”
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Peston added there was “next to no chance” of the EU accepting the Prime Minister’s Brexit proposals, which would leave Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings “chortling into their coffees as we speak” at Mr Corbyn’s failed move. “And business in the Commons will be of magnificent unimportance,” he wrote.
Peston later added there was a “clear sign” the Prime Minister and his advisers now “assume” Britain is leaving the EU without a deal at the end of this month.
He wrote: “The government was supposed to confirm tomorrow that EU rules on state aid (ie prohibition on supposedly unfair subsidies) would remain in force after 31 October.
“Downing Street has cancelled the announcement. Which is a clear sign Johnson, Cummings, Lister all now assume UK is leaving EU on 31 October without a deal, that EU is poised to reject Johnson’s offer.
“Without the EU state aid constraints, Treasury could pump money into any businesses affected by no deal that need temporary support.”
At around 3.30pm on Monday, the ITV’s Political Editor claimed he had been contacted by some Tory rebels over his remarks.
He wrote: “I wrote this morning about how the 21 expelled rebel Tory MPs had blocked a parliamentary coup planned for Monday, when opposition parties had wanted to use Standing Order 24 to give them the power at any time before 31 October to reinforce the Benn Act and prevent Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit at the end of this month.
Robert Peston claimed the PM and Cummings would be ‘chortling into their coffees as we speak’
The point of the motion was to give MPs the power to pass whatever legislation they thought they need to stop a no deal Brexit on 31 October
“I’ve subsequently been contacted by former members of the 21 insisting that they are no longer members of the 21, that they would have backed the coup, and that there is now a clear split between ‘Brexit wets’, who harbour a residual hope that Boris Johnson will welcome them back into the party in the coming weeks, and a breakaway group of anti-Johnson ultras who are set on running in the coming election as independents or have decided to leave politics.
“So let’s have no more than of the rebel 21. By my calculation, it’s now 15 Brexit wets and 6 anti-Johnson ultras.”
Last month, the Prime Minister sacked 21 of his own MPs for rebelling against the Government in a bid to avoid a no deal exit.
In the days that followed, the Prime Minister lost the support of his bother, Jo Johnson, who quit as a minister and as an MP, and also saw prominent minister Amber Rudd quit and also resign the whip.
But, as Peston explained, the MPs who lost the whip last month stood against the Labour Party leaders attempt to cease control of Parliamentary business, which may have added as an additional mechanism to try to rule out a no deal exit at the end of the month.
It comes after the Prime Minister last week outlined his Brexit proposals to the European Union, as he tries to get a deal over the line before October 31.
But, towards the end of last week, Ireland rejected the plans, with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying the plan “falls short in a number of aspects”.
Mr Johnson urged French President Emmanuel Macron to “push forward” to secure a Brexit deal and told him the EU should not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK would stay in the bloc after October 31.
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A senior British government source said: “This is the chance to get a deal done: a deal that is backed by parliamentarians and a deal which involves compromise on all sides.
“The UK has made a big, important offer but it’s time for the Commission to show a willingness to compromise too. If not the UK will leave with no deal.”
Mr Macron said the Prime Minister has until the end of week to agree terms with Michel Barnier if EU leaders are to sign off a new deal at a European Summit on October 17.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said he would not ask for another Brexit delay and last month said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension.
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But, when asked about legislation which could force him to request a delay if no withdrawal deal has been agreed by October 19, the Prime Minister has said he will not break the law.
David Frost, the Prime Minister’s top EU adviser, will continue talks in Brussels after the bloc refused to hold weekend negotiations.
Mr Corbyn met the leaders of other opposition parties to scrutinise the Government’s new Brexit proposals on Monday afternoon.
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is continuing to lead cross-party efforts to prevent a damaging no deal. The meeting will give us the chance to scrutinise the Government’s proposals together.
“It’s already clear that Johnson’s proposal would slash food safety and standards, exposing us to – among other things – chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef, currently banned under EU standards. That’s what a Trump Deal Brexit would mean in practice.
“The cross-party meeting will decide what next steps we can take together to hold the Government to account, and to ensure the Prime Minister adheres to the law in seeking an extension if no deal is reached by 19 October.”
Mr Johnson urged French President Emmanuel Macron to ‘push forward’ to secure a Brexit deal
But, the Labour Party has been accused of being the biggest barrier to stopping a no deal Brexit after the cross-party meeting.
Mr Corbyn was expected to meet the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas – as well as Anna Soubry of the Independent Group for Change and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.
Following the meeting, a senior Lib Dem source said: “The position Jeremy Corbyn is taking is that we can have an emergency Government, but only if he gets to lead it.
“They know they don’t have the numbers, but they are insistent they won’t work with anyone else.
“Their total unwillingness to work with anyone else makes the Labour Party the biggest barrier to stopping no deal.”