Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

Brexit latest: Rebel MPs savaged for attempts at blocking no deal | UK | News

Nick Timothy, who was an advisor to Mrs May, claimed MPs battling against Boris Johnson’s plans to prorogue Parliament, allowing him to follow through with Brexit on time, were “missing the wood for the trees”. Reports revealed this week that Remainers and Conservative rebels would attempt to block Mr Johnson’s plans by seeking to bring forward legislation against it. Writing in The Daily Telegraph Mr Timothy said: “With all this talk about process, not to mention hysteria about prorogation, we are in danger of missing the wood for the trees.

“Presumably, they expect ministers to return to the negotiating table in Brussels.

“But why would the EU offer any changes to the existing deal if it knows that parliament is unwilling to allow no deal?”

Mr Timothy claimed the public were asked whether they wanted to leave the EU, not whether they wanted to leave “once the Government had negotiated terms of withdrawal”.

He added: “With Britain unable to walk away with no deal, it would also have made a one-sided and punitive treaty inevitable.”

“If the rebels get their way this week we will go back to square one.”

Mr Johnson was due to meet Tory MPs pushing to rule out a no deal Brexit but called off the meeting.

This leads on from EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier insisting alternative arrangements to the backstop could be discussed only once the existing Withdrawal Agreement had been approved.

Mr Timothy argued: “Without Britain credibly threatening to walk away from the talks, the Europeans will not consider changes to the Withdrawal Agreement nor to the backstop.”

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The Prime Minister also plans to rip up any legislation passed by the Commons to try to force the Government to ask Brussels for yet another Brexit delay.

A Downing Street source said: “He wants MPs to understand it is their role to deliver Brexit and they need to face up to it.”

Mr Johnson warned MPs any attempts at underhanded parliamentary tricks would risk undermining his last-ditch push for a revamped Withdrawal Agreement to allow the UK to quit the EU with a deal.

A senior source from the whips office said: “The whips are telling Conservative MPs a very simple message – if they fail to vote with the government on Tuesday they will be destroying the government’s negotiating position and handing control of Parliament to Jeremy Corbyn.

“Any Conservative MP who does this will have the whip withdrawn and will not stand as Conservative candidates in an election.”

There is a chance there may be a Brexit deal on October 17 as Brussels realises Mr Johnson is committed to leaving on October 31 with or without a deal.

Mr Timothy added: “Having been accused, ridiculously, of staging a coup d’état last week, the PM could choose to administer a coup de grâce to this sorry Parliament of Remainers and Remoaners.

“The rebels might not like Boris’s policy, but they need to think their actions through very carefully. The stakes could scarcely be higher.

“For the sake of their country, and the fortunes of their party, they need to back down now.”

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