Barnier tells MPs who want to block Brexit deal to ‘take responsibility’

EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned MPs threatening to block the Brexit deal in Parliament to ‘take responsibility’ today as an historic summit to sign off the plan began. 

Mr Barnier said that after the painstaking talks, the controversial divorce deal had to be agreed as the basis for rebuilding trust between Britain and Europe.

The 27 EU leaders will formally adopt the draft divorce deal and political declaration on the future trade deal. 

But Theresa May faces an ‘impossible’ task to get the package through Parliament in early December.

As the PM launches her campaign for the vote, Mr Barnier said: ‘Now it is time for everybody to take their responsibility. This is a necessary step to build trust between the UK and EU.’ 

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU’s position would not change its ‘fundamental position’ and predicted the Commons would eventually endorse the deal. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the EU could not offer ‘anything more’ if the Commons votes down the deal as he arrived at the summit.  

Lithuania’s president predicted Dalia Grybauskaite  ‘anything could happen’ if the deal is voted down in the Commons, including a new referendum.

At today’s summit EU leaders are expected to strike a somber tone in Brussels and Mr Tusk has warned repeatedly the deal is a ‘damage limitation exercise’.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron arrived insisting it was ‘not a day for celebration’ and said it showed the need for the EU to reform. 

When she arrives later, Mrs May will be more upbeat, insisting the two part agreement is the right one for Britain as she faces a bigger battle to make the case at home.

She wrote an open letter to the British public today appealing for support for her deal, insisting it meant a ‘brighter future’ for the country. 

EU negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured in Brussels today) warned MPs threatening to block the Brexit deal in Parliament to 'take responsibility' today as an historic summit to sign off the plan began

EU negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured in Brussels today) warned MPs threatening to block the Brexit deal in Parliament to 'take responsibility' today as an historic summit to sign off the plan began

EU negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured in Brussels today) warned MPs threatening to block the Brexit deal in Parliament to ‘take responsibility’ today as an historic summit to sign off the plan began

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU's position would not change its 'fundamental position' and predicted the Commons would eventually endorse the deal

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU's position would not change its 'fundamental position' and predicted the Commons would eventually endorse the deal

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU’s position would not change its ‘fundamental position’ and predicted the Commons would eventually endorse the deal

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (pictured arriving at the summit today) warned the EU could not offer 'anything more' if the Commons votes down the deal

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (pictured arriving at the summit today) warned the EU could not offer 'anything more' if the Commons votes down the deal

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (pictured arriving at the summit today) warned the EU could not offer ‘anything more’ if the Commons votes down the deal

A final breakthrough yesterday paved the way for today’s summit when Spain dropped its threat to vote against the deal.

What will be agreed in Brussels today? 

The Brexit deal comes in two parts, both of which will be signed off in Brussels today:  

The Withdrawal Agreement is a 585-page legal text that sets out the terms of the UK’s departure.

Among its contents are arrangements for the contentious Northern Ireland backstop and the £39 billion ‘divorce bill’. 

It is a full blown treaty which must be written into both UK and EU law to a apply.

There is also a political declaration agreed between Britain and the EU.  

The 26-page document sets out a framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

It outlines a spectrum of possible trade deals and what each option might mean. The final deal will be subject to years more negotiation in Brussels.    

Madrid claimed Mrs May had caved in to demands to take Gibraltar out of UK-EU trade talks.

The PM insisted the UK’s position on Gibraltar had not changed, saying she would always ‘stand by’ its citizens, while the territory’s chief minister denied that Spain had secured new guarantees.

The agreement means Mrs May will take the completed deal back to Westminster for a Commons vote, expected early next month. 

With a battle looming to win over Brexiteer MPs, Boris Johnson yesterday fired up the DUP – which has propped up Mrs May’s government but is set to vote against her – with a pot-stirring speech in which he savaged the PM’s ‘humiliating’ deal.

It has been claimed today that ministers are making ‘Plan B’ proposals for a new Brexit deal if Mrs May’s agreement is rejected by Parliament.

As EU leaders arrived, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite predicted there could still be an 11th hour reversal after today’s summit.

She said: ‘Everything could happen, at least four possible scenarios could be in place, but it’s up to the British side to decide what path to choose. 

‘It could be a second vote of the people, it could be new elections, it could be a request for renegotiations, there is at least four scenarios, I calculate.’ 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed Theresa May in Brussels tonight ahead of todatsummit the Brexit deal

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed Theresa May in Brussels tonight ahead of todatsummit the Brexit deal

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed Theresa May in Brussels tonight ahead of todatsummit the Brexit deal

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, pictured at a news conference in Madrid yesterday, withdrew his threat to boycott the EU summit on Sunday amid a row over Gibraltar

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, pictured at a news conference in Madrid yesterday, withdrew his threat to boycott the EU summit on Sunday amid a row over Gibraltar

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, pictured at a news conference in Madrid yesterday, withdrew his threat to boycott the EU summit on Sunday amid a row over Gibraltar

Mrs May met EU leaders Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk ahead of the summit, although diplomats say the agreement is ready for EU leaders to approve.

It should mean today’s events in Brussels are a formality.  

Ministers ‘draw up secret Plan B’ in case May’s deal is rejected in Commons vote 

Ministers are making a secret ‘Plan B’ for Brexit if Mrs May’s deal is rejected in the Commons, it was claimed last night. 

The PM faces an uphill task to win over Brexiteer MPs, many of whom are furious about the withdrawal agreement and in particular the Irish backstop. 

Her DUP allies are also poised to desert her in the showdown vote. 

The backup plan being formulated by ministers would be a ‘Norway option’ in which Britain stays in the European Economic Area, the Sunday Telegraph reported. 

Sources said the plan would give the UK a more definite exit procedure from EU rules. 

Such a mechanism would appease Brexiteer fears that the current deal would tie Britain to Brussels rules indefinitely. 

However, the Norway option would reportedly not allow an end to free movement of people.  

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez earlier withdrew his threat to boycott the EU summit on Sunday and said Spain will vote in favour of Brexit after clinching a last-minute deal on Gibraltar. 

The row over the British territory at the southern tip of Spain had threatened to derail the Brexit deal. 

Madrid has insisted on keeping the issue under its control in bilateral talks with London rather than leaving Brussels to decide its future in a UK-EU trade deal.  

Mr Sanchez announced that Brussels and the UK had ‘accepted Spain’s demands’, providing Madrid with what was described in Spanish media as ‘triple protection’.

The triple shield is said to consist of guarantees from EU bosses Juncker and Tusk; the 27 remaining member states; and the UK, according to The Local.  

‘I have just announced to the King that Spain has reached an agreement on Gibraltar,’ Mr Sanchez told a news conference.

‘The European Council will therefore be held tomorrow. Spain has lifted the veto and will vote in favour of Brexit.’ 

Madrid’s foreign minister Josep Borrell went further, saying the agreement is ‘highly positive for Spain’ and ‘the most important’ since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 under which Gibraltar was ceded to the UK. 

Britain has agreed that bilateral talks will continue with Spain on the future of Gibraltar. 

But Mrs May and Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo cast doubt on Madrid’s claim it had won new guarantees. 

Speaking in Brussels Mrs May said: ‘We have worked through the withdrawal issues for Gibraltar with Spain in a constructive and sensible way.

‘We have ensured that Gibraltar is covered by the whole Withdrawal Agreement and by the implementation period and we will always negotiate on behalf of the whole UK family, including Gibraltar, and in the future relationship we will stand up for their interests.

‘The UK’s position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar has not changed and will not change. I am proud that Gibraltar is British and I will always stand by Gibraltar.’ 

Gibraltar is a British territory claimed by Spain and a bone of contention as London negotiates a new relationship with Brussels after Brexit on March 29

Gibraltar is a British territory claimed by Spain and a bone of contention as London negotiates a new relationship with Brussels after Brexit on March 29

Gibraltar is a British territory claimed by Spain and a bone of contention as London negotiates a new relationship with Brussels after Brexit on March 29

Mr Picardo said: ‘What you have heard from the Spanish Prime Minister today was not a reflection of any new position, however much he tried to present it as such.

‘Pedro Sanchez has achieved no guarantees whatsoever in respect of the future of Gibraltar.

‘But I can guarantee Pedro Sanchez one thing in respect of the future of Gibraltar: It is an entirely British future that will suffer no dilution.  

As Mr Sanchez was speaking, European Council president Mr Tusk issued a letter inviting leaders of EU member states to approve the deal at Sunday’s summit.

‘I will recommend that on Sunday we approve the outcome of the Brexit negotiations,’ he said, saying the deal on the table reduces ‘the risks and losses resulting from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal.’

He said: ‘Although no-one will have reasons to be happy on that day, there is one thing I would like to stress: at this critical time, the EU27 has passed the test of unity and solidarity.’ 

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake claimed the Prime Minister had ‘caved in’ and ‘appears to have cast the people of Gibraltar aside’.  

After battling to an agreement with Brussels Mrs May now faces a fierce battle to steer her deal through the House of Commons. 

She has so far survived an attempted coup from Tory backbenchers but a defeat in Parliament could trigger a no-confidence vote or general election.  

The Sunday Telegraph reported that ministers are secretly preparing a backup ‘Norway option’ as an alternative if Mrs May’s deal is voted down. 

Boris Johnson blasts May’s deal at DUP conference

Boris Johnson today spoke at the DUP conference in Belfast to fire up the party faithful in a bid to scupper Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

The former foreign secretary warned that the PM was heading for an ‘iceberg’ and her package would leave Northern Ireland ‘ruled by the EU’.

 He said Mrs May was giving away the £39billion divorce settlement too easily – suggesting half should be withheld until after a final trade agreement is sealed at the end of 2020. 

Mr Johnson said the country was ‘on the the verge of making a historic mistake’.

‘If we are not careful we are going to stay in the customs union, we are going to stay in the single market, we are going to be rules takers,’ he said.

‘Unless we junk this backstop, we will find that Brussels has got us exactly where they want us – a satellite state. 

But Mr Johnson again stopped short of calling for Mrs May to be ousted today, despite dozens of other Eurosceptics putting in no-confidence letters.

That deal would reportedly create a more definite exit mechanism from EU rules, but would not allow an end to free movement.  

In a sign of the trouble she faces, her former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spoke at the DUP conference to demand the scrapping of the Irish backstop. 

The DUP has propped up Mrs May’s government since she lost her majority at last year’s election but the alliance has come under strain over the Brexit deal and the party has suggested it will vote against the agreement.  

Mr Johnson said yesterday: ‘Unless we junk this backstop, we will find that Brussels has got us exactly where they want us – a satellite state.

He warned the draft Brexit deal is in danger of turning Northern Ireland into an ‘economic semi-colony’ of the EU. 

The backstop proposal would see Northern Ireland adopt a different regulatory regime to Great Britain in the event a wider UK-EU trade deal fails to materialise in talks on the future relationship.

DUP leader Arlene Foster told delegates that while she believes Theresa May is ‘genuine’ in her desire to protect the Union, the draft deal fails to do that. 

A Gibraltar housing minister also spoke at the DUP conference demanding that Spain be given no hope of taking away its sovereignty in Brexit talks.

Samantha Sacramento insisted that Gibraltar will not be ‘bullied’ by any bid from Madrid to undermine its sovereignty.  

France's President Emmanuel Macron arrived (pictured) insisting it was 'not a day for celebration' and said it showed the need for the EU to reform

France's President Emmanuel Macron arrived (pictured) insisting it was 'not a day for celebration' and said it showed the need for the EU to reform

France’s President Emmanuel Macron arrived (pictured) insisting it was ‘not a day for celebration’ and said it showed the need for the EU to reform

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar predicted the deal would be accepted at today's summit as he arrived (pictured)  

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar predicted the deal would be accepted at today's summit as he arrived (pictured)  

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar predicted the deal would be accepted at today’s summit as he arrived (pictured)  

She was applauded as she told DUP conference delegates in the Crown Plaza Hotel: ‘Gibraltar will not fold.

Arlene Foster says May’s deal is ‘worse than Corbyn in charge’ 

Arlene Foster has said that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is a worse outcome for Britain than a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Mrs Foster dismissed claims that the DUP is merely playing a game of brinkmanship and would cave in and support Mrs May if the alternative was a general election and a possible Labour government.

Asked if Mrs May’s Brexit is a greater threat than a government led by Jeremy Corbyn, Mrs Foster told the Times: ‘I think it is.

‘The reason I say that is on day one of us leaving the EU there would be no difference, we would be exactly the same as the rest of the UK but in year five or ten we would be different.

‘If people [in Northern Ireland] are looking to Dublin for representation in Europe because we’re the subject of EU rules, that is so dangerous in terms of the Union.

‘All the things we build the Union on — the economic unit, the cultural, social, political and historical – start to diverge.’  

‘The Union Jack, our precious Union Jack, is not a mere flag. To those of us who have endured hard times to secure the continuity of our British heritage, our British values and freedoms, the Union Jack encapsulates all we are as a people.’

Ms Sacramento said Gibraltar was committed to making Brexit work, despite the fact that 96 per cent of its citizens voted Remain.  

‘It is critical that the United Kingdom remains firm in the defence of our right to self-determination and that Spain is given no hope in its campaign to take our sovereignty from us,’ she told the DUP faithful.

‘Our borders and our history are very different but our solidarity in defence of our democratic right to preserve our British way of life is unshakeable.’

She concluded: ‘Gibraltar greatly appreciates the support that the DUP has expressed in support of Gibraltar and its right to remain British and, as my chief minister so often says, we are red, white and blue, we are red, white and proud.’ 

Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted the proposed EU withdrawal deal is in the interests of ‘the whole UK family’, including Gibraltar. 

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds also savaged the deal, saying: ‘The DUP wants a deal with the European Union, we understand that businesses, families and communities want certainty.

‘But it is not this deal. It is not a deal at any price. The prime minister used to say that. We still say that.

‘So Prime Minister, the message from this conference, from every section of this party is – bin the backstop.’

The rock of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, is seen from the Spanish city of La Linea de la Concepcion, southern Spain, this morning. Last night Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ramped up pressure on Theresa May insisting he be given more concessions over the land

The rock of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, is seen from the Spanish city of La Linea de la Concepcion, southern Spain, this morning. Last night Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ramped up pressure on Theresa May insisting he be given more concessions over the land

The rock of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, is seen from the Spanish city of La Linea de la Concepcion, southern Spain, this morning. Last night Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ramped up pressure on Theresa May insisting he be given more concessions over the land

He added: ‘In the coming weeks Parliament will be faced with a clear choice on the future of our country.

‘To be a free independent trading nation leaving the EU as one United Kingdom or to be locked into an EU straitjacket, divided and diminished.

‘The published Withdrawal Agreement portrays a pitiful and pathetic place for the United Kingdom.

‘Hundreds of pages are devoted to a backstop which will bind the United Kingdom into taking the rules of the EU with no right to leave and no end date.’   

On Thursday Mr Tusk sent a draft of the political declaration to the EU 27 countries. 

The document sets out the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. 

It has been agreed at negotiators’ level and agreed in principle at political level. 

The Withdrawal Agreement is the 585-page legal text that sets out the terms of the UK’s departure. 

Among its contents are arrangements for the contentious Northern Ireland backstop and the £39 billion ‘divorce bill’. 

The declaration states how trade, security and other issues will work in broader terms.       

In an interview with BBC’s Emma Barnett on Friday Mrs refused to say if she would quit if she fails to win backing for her deal.

She said the deal would protect jobs and allow Britain to get on with Brexit in March.

But asked repeatedly whether she will resign if she loses in the Commons – as seems inevitable – Mrs May swerved the question to insist: ‘No… I’m focusing on ensuring that we get this deal through Parliament. 

‘I believe this is absolutely the right deal for the UK. This is not about me.’        

A draft Brexit deal agreed – but how WILL Theresa May persuade her Cabinet, Brussels and Parliament to back it (and save her job)?

Theresa May (pictured at the Lord Mayor's Banquet on Monday) has struck a Brexit deal with Brussels - but now has to sell it to her Cabinet and then Parliament 

Theresa May (pictured at the Lord Mayor's Banquet on Monday) has struck a Brexit deal with Brussels - but now has to sell it to her Cabinet and then Parliament 

Theresa May (pictured at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on Monday) has struck a Brexit deal with Brussels – but now has to sell it to her Cabinet and then Parliament 

Emergency EU Summit, Brussels, November 25

What will happen? If the divorce package is agreed between the two sides, it will need to be signed off by EU leaders.

EU council president Donald Tusk will convene a summit where formal approval will be given by EU leaders. This is expected sometime between November 22 and 25.

Will the whole deal be agreed? The Brexit deal is due to come in two parts – a formal divorce treaty and a political declaration on what the final trade deal might look like.

The second part may not be finished until a regular EU summit due on December 13-14.

Assuming the negotiations have reached an agreement and Mrs May travels to Brussels with her Cabinet’s support, this stage should be a formality.

What if there is no agreement? If EU leaders do not sign off on the deal at this stage, no deal becomes highly likely – there is just no time left to negotiate a wholly new deal. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) is still a crucial figure in the Brexit drama

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) is still a crucial figure in the Brexit drama

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) is still a crucial figure in the Brexit drama

The so-called ‘meaningful vote’ in the UK Parliament, December 2019

What will happen: A debate, probably over more than one day, will be held in the House of Commons on terms of the deal.

It will end with a vote on whether or not MPs accept the deal. More than one vote might happen if MPs are allowed to table amendments.

The vote is only happening after MPs forced the Government to accept a ‘meaningful vote’ in Parliament on the terms of the deal.

What happens if May wins? If the meaningful vote is passed, there will be a series of further votes as the withdrawal treaty is written into British law.

It will be a huge political victory for the Prime Minister and probably secure her version of Brexit.

What happens if she loses? This is possibly the most dangerous stage of all. 

The Prime Minister will have to stake her political credibility on winning a vote and losing it would be politically devastating. 

Brexiteers do not want to sign off the divorce bill without a satisfactory trade deal and Remainers are reluctant to vote for a blind Brexit.

She could go back to Brussels to ask for new concessions before a second vote but many think she would have to resign quickly. 

The Prime Minister (pictured at the EU Council in June) has made clear the UK will leave without a deal if MPs reject her package

The Prime Minister (pictured at the EU Council in June) has made clear the UK will leave without a deal if MPs reject her package

The Prime Minister (pictured at the EU Council in June) has made clear the UK will leave without a deal if MPs reject her package

Ratification in the EU, February 2019 

What will happen? After the meaningful vote in the UK, the EU will have to ratify the agreement.

The European Parliament must also vote in favour of the deal. It has a representative in the talks, Guy Verhofstadt, who has repeatedly warned the deal must serve the EU’s interests.

Will it be agreed? In practice, once the leaders of the 27 member states have agreed a deal, ratification on the EU side should be assured.

If the deal has passed the Commons and she is still in office, this should not be dangerous for the Prime Minister. 

Exit day, March 29, 2019 

At 11pm on March 29, 2019, Britain will cease to be a member of the European Union, two years after triggering Article 50 and almost three years after the referendum. 

Exit happens at 11pm because it must happen on EU time.

If the transition deal is in place, little will change immediately – people will travel in the same way as today and goods will cross the border normally. 

But Britain’s MEPs will no longer sit in the European Parliament and British ministers will no longer take part in EU meetings.

Negotiations will continue to turn the political agreement on the future partnership into legal text that will eventually become a second treaty. Both sides will build new customs and immigration controls in line with what this says.

Transition ends, December 2020

The UK’s position will undergo a more dramatic change at the end of December 2020, when the ‘standstill’ transition is due to finish.

If the negotiations on a future trade deal are complete, that could come into force.

But if they are still not complete the Irish border ‘backstop’ plan could be triggered.

Under current thinking, that means the UK staying in the EU customs union and more regulatory checks between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.

Eurosceptics fear this arrangement will prevent the country striking trade deals elsewhere, and could effectively last for ever, as Brussels will have no incentive to negotiate a replacement deal. 

Is May’s deal already sunk? Eighty nine Tories have already come out against it meaning she must find more than 90 votes from Brexiteer rebels, DUP and Labour to get it through the Commons

Theresa May has secured her deal in Brussels but her fight to get it actually in place in time for Brexit day is just beginning.

The ‘meaningful vote’ promised to MPs is expected to happen in early December and is the single biggest hurdle to the Brexit deal happening – and Mrs May’ fate as PM.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.

The situation looks grim for Mrs May and her whips: now the deal has been published, 89 of her own MPs and the 10 DUP MPs have publicly stated they will join the Opposition parties in voting No.

This means the PM could have as few as 225 votes in her corner – leaving 410 votes on the other side, a landslide majority 185.

This is how the House of Commons might break down:

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up - but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up - but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The Government (plus various hangers-on)

Who are they: All members of the Government are the so-called ‘payroll’ vote and are obliged to follow the whips orders or resign. It includes the Cabinet, all junior ministers, the whips and unpaid parliamentary aides.

There are also a dozen Tory party ‘vice-chairs and 17 MPs appointed by the PM to be ‘trade envoys’.

How many of them are there? 178.

What do they want? For the Prime Minister to survive, get her deal and reach exit day with the minimum of fuss.

Many junior ministers want promotion while many of the Cabinet want to be in a position to take the top job when Mrs May goes.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

European Research Group Brexiteers demanding a No Confidence Vote

Who are they: The most hardline of the Brexiteers, they launched a coup against Mrs May after seeing the divorce. Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker.

How many of them are there: 26

What do they want: The removal of Mrs May and a ‘proper Brexit’. Probably no deal now, with hopes for a Canada-style deal later.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Other Brexiteers in the ERG

Who are they: There is a large block of Brexiteer Tory MPs who hate the deal but have so far stopped short of moving to remove Mrs May – believing that can destroy the deal instead. They include ex Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex minister Owen Paterson.

Ex ministers like Boris Johnson and David Davis are also in this group – they probably want to replace Mrs May but have not publicly moved against her.

How many of them are there? Around 50.

What do they want? The ERG has said Mrs May should abandon her plans for a unique trade deal and instead negotiate a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal.

This is based on a trade deal signed between the EU and Canada in August 2014 that eliminated 98 per cent of tariffs and taxes charged on goods shipped across the Atlantic.

The EU has long said it would be happy to do a deal based on Canada – but warn it would only work for Great Britain and not Northern Ireland.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Remain including the People’s Vote supporters

Who are they: Tory MPs who believe the deal is just not good enough for Britain. They include the group of unrepentant Remainers who want a new referendum like Anna Soubry and ex-ministers who quit over the deal including Jo Johnson and Phillip Lee.

How many of them are there: Maybe around 10.

What do they want? To stop Brexit. Some want a new referendum, some think Parliament should step up and say no.

A new referendum would take about six months from start to finish and they group wants Remain as an option on the ballot paper, probably with Mrs May’s deal as the alternative.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister.

Moderates in the Brexit Delivery Group (BDG) and other Loyalists

Who are they? A newer group, the BDG counts members from across the Brexit divide inside the Tory Party. It includes former minister Nick Boles and MPs including Remainer Simon Hart and Brexiteer Andrew Percy.

There are also lots of unaligned Tory MPs who are desperate to talk about anything else.

How many of them are there? Based on public declarations, about 48 MPs have either said nothing or backed the deal.

What do they want? The BDG prioritises delivering on Brexit and getting to exit day on March 29, 2019, without destroying the Tory Party or the Government. If the PM gets a deal the group will probably vote for it.

It is less interested in the exact form of the deal but many in it have said Mrs May’s Chequers plan will not work.

Mr Boles has set out a proposal for Britain to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) until a free trade deal be negotiated – effectively to leave the EU but stay in close orbit as a member of the single market.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

The DUP

Who are they? The Northern Ireland Party signed up to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservative Party to prop up the Government.

They are Unionist and say Brexit is good but must not carve Northern Ireland out of the Union.

How many of them are there? 10.

What do they want? A Brexit deal that protects Northern Ireland inside the UK.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister on the grounds they believe the deal breaches the red line of a border in the Irish Sea.

Labour Loyalists

Who are they? Labour MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and willing to follow his whipping orders.

How many of them are there? Up to 250 MPs depending on exactly what Mr Corbyn orders them to do.

What do they want? Labour policy is to demand a general election and if the Government refuses, ‘all options are on the table’, including a second referendum.

Labour insists it wants a ‘jobs first Brexit’ that includes a permanent customs union with the EU. It says it is ready to restart negotiations with the EU with a short extension to the Article 50 process.

The party says Mrs May’s deal fails its six tests for being acceptable.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister’s current deal.

Labour Rebels

Who are they? A mix of MPs totally opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, some Labour Leave supporters who want a deal and some MPs who think any deal will do at this point.

How many of them are there? Maybe 10 to 20 MPs but this group is diminishing fast – at least for the first vote on the deal.

What do they want? An orderly Brexit and to spite Mr Corbyn.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Other Opposition parties

Who are they? The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Caroline Lucas and assorted independents.

How many of them are there? About 60 MPs.

How will they vote? Mostly against the Prime Minister – though two of the independents are suspended Tories and two are Brexiteer former Labour MPs. 

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