ARLENE Foster was last night begged to save Brexit by backing Theresa May’s deal in a crunch vote today.
The PM yesterday decided to put her EU agreement back before MPs on the original Brexit day of March 29 – in one final gamble.
DUP leader Arlene Foster has been urged to save Brexit and back Theresa May’s deal[/caption]
The PM is taking one final gamble and putting her deal back before MPs on the original Brexit day of March 29[/caption]
And Tories urged the DUP leader to change her mind and hand 10 crucial votes to the Government – after she vowed her party would oppose it.
One senior Tory said: “Come on Arlene – think of the national interest”.
An MP told The Sun: “They could go from the Democratic Unionist Party to the Deeply Unpopular Party in one afternoon.”
A third crushing loss for the PM’s deal today is expected to open the door to Parliament imposing a ‘super-soft’ Brexit on the nation – or a second referendum.
Frantic last minute attempts were under way last night to try to talk round the DUP – led by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, a former chief whip with close links to the Ulster unionist party.
It came in another extraordinary day in Westminster.
- A Cabinet minister warned the DUP last night that Ulster faces reunification with Ireland if the party goes ahead with its threat to vote down the deal.
- A Labour MP vowed to back the PM’s deal telling the Sun: “Today is D-Day.”
- Jeremy Hunt launched the desperate race to replace Theresa May yesterday with a rallying cry for the Tories to “be the party for everyone”.
- Tory sources said that as many as 30 Ministers or MPs were weighing up whether to run for Downing Street.
DUP bosses were yesterday insisting they will refuse to support the deal because of their fears that the Irish ‘backstop’ – designed to prevent a hard border with Ireland – will separate them from the rest of the UK.
A Cabinet source gave the DUP’s chances of backing Mrs May “just 10%, if that”.
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Downing Street only got the nod from Speaker John Bercow to hold a third vote after a day of desperate negotiations.
Theresa May is splitting off the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ with the EU from a political declaration setting out the UK’s likely future relationship with Brussels.
The Speaker had warned he would block any attempt to hold a third vote on the same deal after she lost for a second time earlier this month.
Business bosses blast Brexit chaos
By Matt Dathan, Senior Political Correspondent
BUSINESS chiefs accused squabbling MPs of “letting British business down” and costing jobs in a blistering attack over the Brexit logjam.
In an angry tirade at Westminster politicians British Chambers of Commerce chief Adam Marshall said investments had been postponed and said: “The damage is happening right now.”
Speaking at the start of the trade body’s annual conference he said: “To Westminster we say – we are frustrated, we are angry, you have let British business down.”
“You have focused on soundbites not substance, tactics not strategy and politics not prosperity.
“Listening without hearing.”
Meanwhile a report by the Federation of Small Businesses found that only one in 10 smaller companies has taken on a new staff over the past three months, while almost as many ahve cut jobs.
It said small firms are halting recruitment and investment and scaling back exports because of feeling “hamstrung” by the political uncertainty.
The FSB called on the Government to give small firms vouchers to spend on preparing for post-Brexit trade.
More than a third of 1,000 small businesses surveyed said their revenues are down and one in four say they are “flat-lining.”
FSB chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small firms were told that we would be leaving the European Union today with a good understanding beforehand of what the future would hold.
“Instead, we’ve suffered 1,000 days of uncertainty since the Brexit referendum, leaving us unable to plan, invest and grow. Naturally, that’s impacted bottom lines.
“This failure of the UK political system cannot be allowed to happen again. While many politicians have prioritised machinations, the smaller businesses that make up 99% of our economy have been left in the dark.
“Thousands have had to shell out for scenario planning. The least the Government can do now is follow the example set by Ireland and the Netherlands by providing small firms with vouchers to access the advice, equipment and upskilling they need to future-proof their businesses as trade arrangements change.”
The DUP have refused to support the deal because of fears that the Irish ‘backstop’ will separate them from the rest of the UK[/caption]
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been attempting to talk the DUP round to supporting the deal[/caption]
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