Bojo and Rees-Mogg move towards backing Theresa May's 'lamentable' Brexit deal

Written by Matt Foster and Tom Freeman on 27 March 2019 in News

Boris Johnson hints he could back Theresa May's Brexit deal rather than risk not leaving EU 'at all'

Boris Johnson resigning - PA

Arch-Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have hinted they may have to back Theresa May's "lamentable" EU deal or run the risk of not leaving the bloc at all.

In a hint that he could he could get behind an agreement he has spent months criticising, ex-Foreign Secretary Johnson said he could "see the point of view" of Conservative eurosceptics who were coming around to the Prime Minister's deal.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Telegraph, he said: "If we vote it down again there is an appreciable and growing sense that we will not leave at all. That is the risk."

And in his podcast for ConservativeHome, chair of the hardcore anti-EU European Research Group Rees-Mogg said he had accepted the Prime Minister “will not deliver a no deal Brexit”.

He apologised for changing his mind, adding: “The choice seems to be Mrs May’s deal or no Brexit.”

He Tweeted: “This is the dreadful conclusion I came to too - and said so at the ERG.

“A new PM can then negotiate a better and more distanced relationship with the EU after Brexit. (Of course this is the least worst option but the only practical way forward for now.)”

Fellow Brexiteer Michael Fabricant - who has twice voted against the Prime Minister's EU agreement - also made clear that he was now ready to back it.

Writing in The Telegraph, the Lichfield MP said he had told fellow members of the European Research Group that he "must now reluctantly vote with my head and no longer with my heart".

"I explained that if the Withdrawal Agreement is not passed on Thursday or early next week, our Remainer Parliament will seize control and destroy Brexit," he said. "And there will be no Oliver Cromwell to save us from them this time."

All three have come under fire from Brexit campaigners, and there is still little sign of the DUP coming on board, with the party's Brexit spokesman, Sammy Wilson, claiming on Tuesday that the party would rather see a year-long extension to the whole process rather than vote for it.

MPs are preparing to vote on a host of Brexit alternatives after seizing control of Commons business.

A total of 16 different options have been tabled by MPs, and Speaker John Bercow will select which ones will be debated and voted on on Wednesday evening.

But the move has sparked fear among some eurosceptics that Parliament could force a softer form of Brexit on the Government.

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