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Now or never to get rid of Theresa May, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg claims

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Conservative MPs hoping to oust Theresa May have been warned it’s now or never – or else she could lead the party into the next election.

Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg’s stark warning to his Tory colleagues comes amid suggestions the rebellion against the PM has stalled.

The North East Somerset MP – seen as a standard bearer for the eurosceptic cause – dramatically declared he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Mrs May last week.

:: How many MPs have sent letters of no confidence?



Jacob Rees-Mogg insists that sending letters of no confidence in the Tory leader to Sir Graham Brady does not constitute a 'coup'.




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Rees-Mogg: Coup is a ‘very silly word’

His intervention raised expectations of an imminent vote on the PM’s leadership of the party – but this has yet to happen.

Mr Rees-Mogg acknowledged getting the 48 letters of no confidence from Tory MPs – 15% of the parliamentary party – needed to trigger a vote has proven to be “quite difficult”.

“I think it is now or the prime minister will lead the Conservatives into the next election,” the leader of the European Research Group of Tory MPs said.

:: Analysis – Setback proof ERG Emperor Rees-Mogg has no clothes

“You find MPs privately who will say to you they think that is a really good idea in any number and I would be quite surprised.”

Mr Rees-Mogg was speaking at the launch of a report designed to rebut claims that a “no-deal” Brexit would lead to a damaging increase in trade friction.

Despite disquiet about her Brexit agreement, Mrs May is pressing ahead.



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Bank of England governor responds to draft Brexit deal

She will meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday evening for talks which Downing Street said will form “part of the ongoing negotiations over the future framework”.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “It is part of the ongoing negotiation process. I wouldn’t anticipate shaking of hands on a final document.”

She will head to Brussels after the Democratic Unionist Party fired a “warning shot” at her government.



Tory MP and ERG member Crispin Blunt does not rate Theresa May's chances of having the draft Brexit agreement signed off by parliament very highly




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Blunt: PM doesn’t have ‘cat in hell’s chance’

The Northern Irish party, which is supposed to support Mrs May’s minority government in key Commons votes, refused to back a crucial government finance law.

The party’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told Sky News the confidence and supply agreement between the two sides was not over, but the move was a warning that there would be “consequences” to the government breaking its promises.

Mr Wilson said the DUP would vote against the Brexit deal if it is put to a vote.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said the government would “continue to talk” to the DUP, pointedly adding: “The best interests of the country as a whole is for us to have a stable government in Westminster – and that requires the DUP to work with us.”



Lord Adonis believes there will be a second Brexit referendum in 2019




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Lord Adonis thinks another Brexit vote is coming

Mr Gauke also claimed voting down Mrs May’s deal risked jeopardising the chances of Brexit being delivered.

He said such a scenario would mean either “we crash out without a deal” or “we find ourselves in a position where we, for one reason or another, cannot deliver Brexit”.

Mr Gauke said the latter would “undermine trust in our democratic system”.

This was echoed by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who backed Mrs May’s plan and warned no deal would be the “worst outcome”.








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PM: Agreement has jobs and prosperity ‘at its heart’

London and Brussels have been at pains in recent days to stress that the withdrawal agreement – which is due to be signed off on Sunday – will not be up for renegotiation and the focus is now on the terms of the future relationship.

However, Spain has warned the EU it will vote against the withdrawal deal if Madrid’s veto over the future status of Gibraltar is not guaranteed.

“As a country, we can’t conceive that what will happen with the future of Gibraltar will depend on a negotiation between Britain and the European Union,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Amid rising tensions over the issue, Spain’s foreign minister Josep Borrell said he expects the UK to “split apart” before his own country does.

Mr Borrell also told Politico that Madrid would not stop an independent Scotland joining the EU if it left the UK legally and with Westminster’s consent.

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