Tory Europhiles Remainers’ revival
While the diehard Eurosceptics pull from the right and want a Canadastyle agreement, Tory Europhiles are applying similar levels of pressure on the prime minister from the left. Any hint of a Canada-style deal and they would vote against the agreement in parliament.
They want to keep the UK in a customs union and as close to the single market as possible. It’s thought that at least two dozen Conservative MPs could vote against any deal that they regard as delivering too hard a Brexit.
A new Europhile grouping, similar to the European Research Group, is being formed to coordinate parliamentary tactics.
Tory Europhiles are trying to persuade May that, if she strikes a sensible soft-Brexit deal that keeps the UK in a customs union at the very least, she could well persuade dozens of Labour MPs who want Brexit done and dusted, but dread a no-deal outcome, to defy Jeremy Corbyn and back her in parliament to get her deal through.
Some Tory MPs – including the former ministers Justine Greening, below, Phillip Lee and Anna Soubry – want a second referendum to give the public a chance to vote to stay in.