More than 200 MPs urge Theresa May to rule out no-deal Brexit

Theresa May has invited MPs to Downing Street to discuss their concerns (Picture: PA)
Theresa May has invited MPs to Downing Street to discuss their concerns (Picture: PA)

More than 200 MPs have signed a letter to Theresa May urging her to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

A total of 209 MPs across the political parties, including both Leave and Remain supporters, signed the letter – and all have been invited to meet prime minister at Downing Street on Tuesday.

The letter was organised by former Tory Cabinet minister Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour MP Jack Dromey.

Dame Caroline told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Crashing out of the EU without a deal will cause job losses and bring to an end the renaissance of manufacturing that we’ve seen in regions like mine in the West Midlands, and both Jack Dromey and I know the human interest and impact of this.”

The meeting with the signatories is one of a series being organised by Mrs May, who is also hosting drinks receptions for Tory MPs on Monday and Wednesday as part of an charm offensive to win support for the Brexit deal.

Tory MP Dame Caroline Spelman organised the MPs’ letter to Theresa May (Picture: PA)
Tory MP Dame Caroline Spelman organised the MPs’ letter to Theresa May (Picture: PA)
Labour MP Jack Dromey was one of the organisers of the letter from MPs (Picture: Getty)
Labour MP Jack Dromey was one of the organisers of the letter from MPs (Picture: Getty)

Mrs May has warned the UK will be in “uncharted territory” if the deal is rejected in the vote, expected on January 15.

She told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “What we’ll be setting out over the next few days is a sort of assurances, is measures in three areas.

“The first is measures that will be specific for Northern Ireland.

“The second is a greater role for parliament as we take these negotiations into the next stage for our future relationship.

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“And the third, and we’re still working on this, is further assurances from the European Union to address the issues that have been raised.”

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Mrs May held talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday and the pair are expected to keep in touch this week as the clock ticks down to the Commons showdown.

The DUP’s deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the Withdrawal Agreement remained “toxic” as a result of the Irish backstop measure.

“The fundamental problems which make this a bad deal appear not to have changed,” he said.

A Commons vote on the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement is expected this month (Picture: PA)
A Commons vote on the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement is expected this month (Picture: PA)

Following the publication of the cross-party letter by MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit, eurosceptic Conservative backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Leaving the EU is set in the law.

“Many of the people who have signed the letter this morning saying they don’t want a no-deal Brexit have actually voted through the legislation that means we leave on March 29 with or without a formal Article 50 withdrawal agreement.

“Given that parliament voted overwhelmingly, in the end, to have the referendum, parliament voted overwhelmingly, in the end, to accept the result of the referendum, and parliament has now legislated to implement the referendum, I find it rather lame that people are now saying ‘Oh, we didn’t mean that’.

“They have set in legislation what is going to happen and basically democracy has been served on all sides, both by the referendum and by parliament.”


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