Theresa May begs Tory Brexiteers not to weaken her hand in Brussels talks as she braces for Valentine's Day defeat in Commons

Liam Fox this morning warned ERG members threatening to vote against the PM tonight that they would show the "wrong signals" and could wreck her plans.

Tonight MPs are set to get a second say on how to move forward with Brexit – as the PM still has not got a deal for them to vote on.

The PM put down a motion and MPs made various amendments to it – the three were picked include plans to force Mrs May to hold the vote by February 27, to try and get Britain to extend Article 50, and to make the Government release analysis of No Deal.

Brexiteers are said to be furious with the PM over the wording of today's motion from Mrs May – claiming it would rule out Britain leaving without a deal.

Senior MPs are debating whether to vote against it altogether, which would shatter a fragile truce in Parliament among Tories.

A leading ERG source told The Sun: “She has done a deal with the Remainers to get their votes.

"That’s why the Chief Whip refused to reword the motion when we pleaded with him. It’s unacceptable."

But today Mrs May's ally Mr Fox said that voting it down would harm her in talks and would show the EU that Mrs May can't get a deal through Parliament.

He warned: "I think that there's a danger that we send the wrong signals and I think that we need to understand that the public want us to leave the European Union but they would prefer us to leave the European Union with a deal."

"What we say is looked at and listened to by those that we are negotiating with," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But Brexiteers buckled down, saying they should not be associated with anything that "seems to take No Deal off the table".

MP Steve Baker said this morning: "Compromising no deal would be the daftest negotiating strategy and not in the national interest. Today's storm in a teacup only arises because the Government's motion is not neutral. This unnecessary carry on is wanted by no one."

And in a warning shot that Remainers aren't happy either, Tory Nicky Morgan added: "If the Government had taken the time to discuss the wording of the motion with MPs on all sides of the Brexit debate they’d have achieved a clear & united signal to the EU as Brady did on 29th January."

Today the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It is important that MPs support the Prime Minister today in order to send another clear message to Brussels on the need to address parliament’s concerns about the backstop so we can leave on time, with a deal on March 29th.

Last night Downing Street said ministers would continue to plan for No Deal and the rebellion was just a "show of force" because the Malthouse compromise hasn't officially been adopted as Government policy.

They said that the EU could abandon talks with Britain over the hated Irish backstop if she loses tonight.

What are MPs voting on today in the Commons?


Labour frontbenchers have proposed an amendment aimed at stopping Theresa May from running down the clock on Brexit.

It would force the Government to act within two weeks, either by holding another formal vote on the PM's deal or by declaring that the deal is now off the table permanently.


Tory pro-EU rebel Anna Soubry has teamed up with other Remainers to try and force ministers to publish the advice they've had on a No Deal Brexit.

If their amendment passed, Mrs May would have to publish "the most recent official briefing document" presented to Cabinet on the implications of a No Deal scenario.


Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, is calling for a delay of at least three months to the Brexit process.

It could make the possibility of a soft Brexit more likely if the EU decide that there's more hope of passing the deal if Mrs May goes into serious talks with the Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn.

He's fighting for a customs union with the bloc but Mrs May has ruled it out, saying it won't deliver on Brexit properly.

She's still in talks with Mr Corbyn but doesn't want to risk splitting her own party if she goes for a compromise deal.

The PM is trying to get her deal through by changing the Northern Irish backstop, but she's facing a huge fight with the EU over whether to re-open talks.

Yesterday she was forced to deny that she was trying to run down the clock on Brexit as one of her chief negotiators was overheard in a bar saying she would offer a huge delay or her own deal.

Today the Dutch PM Mark Rutte warned that No Deal would have a "devastating" impact on the UK, as part of a push to get MPs to back the PM's deal.

He told the FT that the bloc would face "insurmountable" challenges and Britain has been "diminished" by Brexit.

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