Ex-Tory rebels now BACK Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – and No 10 says it WILL pass at next vote: Oliver Letwin and Amber Rudd says they will support PM in vote this week
- Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment forced PM to comply with the terms of Benn Act
- PM sent letter to EU last night asking for delay but also urged EU not to grant one
- Sir Oliver today said he will back PM’s deal and he just wanted to stop No Deal
- Meanwhile, Amber Rudd said there is a ‘fragile coalition’ in favour of the deal
- Dominic Raab today claimed government does have the numbers to win vote
By Jack Maidment, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline
Published: 10:55 BST, 20 October 2019 | Updated: 18:57 BST, 20 October 2019
Sir Oliver Letwin today said he will back Boris Johnson‘s Brexit deal after the former Tory rebel’s wrecking amendment scuppered the PM’s EU divorce plans.
MPs voted for a proposal put forward by Sir Oliver yesterday which required Mr Johnson to comply with the terms of the anti-No Deal law known as the Benn Act and write to the EU asking for an extension.
Mr Johnson last night submitted an unsigned version of the legally required letter to the EU as he also sent two others making clear the first was not from him and that he does not want a delay.
The PM is adamant that he will deliver Brexit by October 31 and tomorrow he will try to force a fresh ‘meaningful vote’ on his deal in the Commons.
He will also bring forward the legislation needed to actually make the UK’s orderly split from Brussels on Halloween a reality.
The government is increasingly confident that there is a majority of MPs in favour of the new new divorce accord.
And the PM received a boost this morning as Sir Oliver confirmed he will back the blueprint when it is put to a vote.
Meanwhile, Amber Rudd, a former Tory MP who quit the Conservative Party over No Deal, said she believed there is a ‘fragile coalition’ in favour of the deal.
A bullish Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, summed up growing government optimism as he said: ‘We believe we have got the numbers.’
Sir Oliver Letwin, pictured in London today, said he will be supporting Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal when it is put to a vote this week
Amber Rudd, pictured on Sky News this morning, is also backing the deal as she said she believed there is a ‘fragile coalition’ in favour of the agreement
Mr Johnson wants to hold a ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons tomorrow but it is thought he could be blocked by John Bercow.
The Commons Speaker could oppose holding the vote on the grounds that yesterday Mr Johnson tried and failed to secure support for his deal.
Parliamentary rules dictate that there are not supposed to be repeated votes on the same motion.
If the PM is blocked then attention will turn to Tuesday when MPs are expected to be asked to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill which must be passed to avoid a bad break from Brussels on Halloween.
The WAB would effectively enshrine the PM’s deal in British law.
Whenever the crunch moment comes, Sir Oliver said he will be supporting Mr Johnson’s deal as he also ruled out any further attempts to prevent progress being made.
He told the BBC: ‘I am absolutely behind the government now as long as they continue with this bill, continue with the deal, I will support it, I will vote for it.
‘There will be no more Oliver Letwin amendments next week because there don’t need to be, I am supporting the bill.’
He said of the PM’s draft accord with the EU: ‘It is not perfect but it will do.’
Ms Rudd, a former Tory Cabinet minister, said she would also be supporting the PM’s deal.
She told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I support the Prime Minister’s deal and I have told him I will support it next week.’
Ms Rudd insisted there was a ‘fragile but sincere coalition of people who want to support it’.
‘It is a very fragile coalition to support the Prime Minister’s deal,’ she added.