Brexit vote: How many Labour MPs support Brexit? Could PM win vote and not call election?
Brexit is currently scheduled for October 31 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting the UK will leave the EU on this date “no ifs or buts”. However, Mr Johnson has faced resistance from the Commons and Labour MPs have now teamed up with Tory rebels in a bid to delay the UK’s exit date by three-months to secure a deal. The bill, introduced by Labour MP Hilary Benn, will be voted on in an extraordinary showdown in Parliament later on Tuesday.
But in a clear threat to rebel MPs, Mr Johnson warned he would never go to Brussels and ask for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “pointless” extension.This could leave the Prime Minister with no option but to call for a general election if enough Conservative MPs vote against him tonight.Mr Johnson said on Monday night: “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election. Let’s get on with the people’s agenda.“There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.”READ MORE: Why Boris shouldn’t worry about Brexit Party - but Corbyn should panic
And with many Tory MPs rebelling against the Government, some Labour MPs could also choose to go against their own party.Just how many could rebel against party leader Jeremy Corbyn is not clear, but Labour’s division on Europe has previously been exposed in a mini-rebellion against Mr Corbyn.One of them is MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey, a veteran supporter of leaving the EU despite representing a constituency which voted decisively for Remain.She tweeted yesterday: “Any MP who votes for this Bill will be showing more loyalty to the European Union than to the United Kingdom.”READ MORE: Brexit news: Audience member rips into Labour MP – 'You're failing!'
Another Labour MP who could vote with the Government today is John Mann, who voted to leave the EU win the June 2016 referendum.Labour MP Sarah Champions also said she would back no deal over no Brexit.The Rotherham MP said last month: “If my party comes out as a remain party rather than trying to find a deal or rather than trying to exit, I can’t support that, it goes against democracy.“I want us to leave, the country wants us to leave and for our democracy, I think we have to leave.”Caroline Flint has said she would defy Mr Corbyn to help the Prime Minister pass a Brexit deal, however, it is not clear how she will vote today.In addition, Sir Kevin Barron has previously gone against Mr Corbyn and said in January he would back former Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal.
Could Boris Johnson win the vote today?Ex-chancellor Philip Hammond has said Tory rebels have the numbers to win a vote to stop no deal Brexit and trigger an election today.He insisted he would vote to take control of the House of Commons off the Government and give it to opposition MPs who will use it to block a no deal Brexit.But the Prime Minister has invited rebels to Downing Street for last minute talks on tonight’s vote.In a bid to change their mind, he has vowed to take the whip off Tories who vote against him tonight, meaning they can’t stand in a general election.
However, Mr Hammond and others have said they will ignore the Prime Minister’s threat.David Gauke, the former Justice Secretary, wrote in The Times today: “The only opportunity for MPs to maintain control of this process is now. However painful, I must support it.”Amber Rudd warned Mr Johnson not to go through with his threat, telling The Spectator: “We should not be a party that is trying to remove from our party two former chancellors, a number of ex-cabinet ministers.”As it looks now, the Prime Minister could face defeat tonight, and attempt to trigger a general election ahead of the Brexit deadline of October 31 instead.