Delay Brexit vote to avoid 'heavy' defeat, PM urged - Sky News

Theresa May is under pressure from loyalist MPs to delay to vote on her Brexit deal, amid fears it could be "heavily" rejected.

The prime minister was urgent to postpone the crucial vote next Tuesday, as about 90 Conservatives are expected to rebel.

It came as MPs who support the Northern Irish backstop.

Meanwhile, prospects of a showdown between Mrs May and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn were dashed as ITV withdrew its offer to host a televised debate.

The full letter written by Geoffrey Cox has been released
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MPs are now three debates down out of five before the final decision

The meaningful vote on the Brexit deal, with MPs completing their third day in five to debate it.

Coming back to Mrs May's favor, to her rattle her supporters.

Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the influential 1922 committee of Tory MPs, said most people wanted to see this process moving forward.

But he admitted: "I do not think there's any point in plowing ahead and losing the vote heavily."

Graham Brady
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Sir Graham Brady warned the PM could suffer 'heavy' losses

The DUP's Ian Paisley also quipped that "the so-called minds are hanging", warning that "the gallows are being built".

He asked International Trade Secretary Liam Fox about reports that ministers were considering postponing the vote, or if "the government [is] fixed on walking towards those gallows ".

Dr Fox insisted on the Brexit deal offered in "balanced and reasonable approach".

He added: "Of course [the government] will try to look for reassurance. "

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox
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International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said he wanted to give re assurances

Sky News understands Mrs May would struggle to delay the vote because the debate leading up to it has already started – meaning she would need to win another vote adding an amendment to push it back.

A Sky Source also said the cabinet agreed that the vote could not be lost by 200 votes, but that they did not agree to be delayed.

In a bid to assemble Tory Brexiteers, loyalist MPs published a plan to decrease the chances of the UK falling into the backstop.

The backstop has created so many rebels because it would be differently treated in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain.

Led by Hugo Swire, the plan would give to the end of 2022 – rather than falling into the backstop.

Asked by Sky News: If Downing Street said: "There are probably several cooks involved in the broth."

This article will be published on Tuesday morning, will be debated.

Northern Irish border
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MPs vote to delay the backstop

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has been ruled out for Mrs May's deal, said it was "simply not possible".

He said that, under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, a joint committee would ultimately make that decision.

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