BORIS VOWS TO BOOT OUT BREXIT REBELS

● PM de­mands MPs' back­ing in crunch week ● Gove slaps down Barnier

Daily Express - - FRONT PAGE - By Macer Hall Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

BORIS John­son is de­ter­mined to crush a re­bel­lion by Tory MPs seek­ing to sab­o­tage his Brexit plans.

Ahead of what is al­most cer­tain to be a de­ci­sive par­lia­men­tary clash in the com­ing days, the Prime Min­is­ter has in­structed Tory whips to pun­ish rebels try­ing to block a no-deal Brexit by boot­ing them out of the party.

He also plans to rip up any leg­is­la­tion passed by the Com­mons to force the Gov­ern­ment to ask Brus­sels for yet an­other Brexit de­lay. Last night, a Down­ing Street

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

Mr John­son’s de­fi­ant warn­ing came as MPs in the cross-party “Re­main al­liance” – led by Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn – fi­nalised their strat­egy for to­mor­row’s Com­mons as­sault.

They are un­happy with the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to cut the cur­rent par­lia­men­tary ses­sion short and push ahead with leav­ing the EU with or with­out a deal on Oc­to­ber 31. Mr Cor­byn yes­ter­day sig­nalled his readi­ness to cause par­lia­men­tary may­hem and en­cour­age more anti-Brexit protests by vow­ing to do “ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary” to frus­trate the Prime Min­is­ter.

With MPs set to re­turn to West­min­ster to­mor­row at the end of their sum­mer break, Mr John­son will to­day warn Tory rebels that their ca­reers in the party will be over if they side with Labour.

He was due to meet 21 MPs op­posed to a no-deal Brexit – in­clud­ing for­mer chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond and for­mer jus­tice sec­re­tary David Gauke – at No10 to­day.

But after Mr Gauke told the BBC he was pre­pared to lose the Tory whip by vot­ing against the Gov­ern­ment, Down­ing Street of­fi­cials can­celled the sum­mit, blam­ing “diary pres­sures”.

A state­ment from the Tory rebels last night said: “Aside from be­ing deeply dis­source cour­te­ous, to­day’s be­hav­iour shows this is not a Gov­ern­ment in­ter­ested in com­pro­mise. These MPs want proof that there is a gen­uine and sin­cere at­tempt to get a deal.

“The fact that the Prime Min­is­ter isn’t even pre­pared to meet them sug­gests there isn’t.”

Mr John­son last night warned MPs that any par­lia­men­tary skul­dug­gery risked un­der­min­ing his fi­nal push for a re­vamped With­drawal Agree­ment that would al­low the UK to quit the EU with a deal.

It came as the EU’s chief Brexit ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier re­jected the Prime Min­is­ter’s call for the con­tro­ver­sial Ir­ish back­stop to be scrapped. But Michael Gove, the Cab­i­net min­is­ter in charge of plan­ning for a no-deal Brexit, last night slapped down Mr Barnier and in­sisted Mr John­son was “mak­ing progress” in his bid to se­cure a new deal.

A se­nior source from the whips of­fice told how they had been in­structed to give Tory MPs “a very sim­ple mes­sage”.

The source said: “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 can­di­date in an elec­tion. There is a chance of a deal on Oc­to­ber 17 [when the Euro­pean Coun­cil is next due to meet] only be­cause Brus­sels re­alises the Prime Min­is­ter is to­tally com­mit­ted to leav­ing on Oc­to­ber 31.

“All MPs face a sim­ple choice on Tues­day – to vote with the Gov­ern­ment and pre­serve the chance of a deal or vote with Cor­byn and de­stroy any chance of a deal.”

In a bel­li­cose speech to­day, Mr Cor­byn is ex­pected to step up his threat to scup­per a no-deal Brexit by claim­ing he is do­ing “ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary to pull our coun­try back from the brink”.

Anti-Brexit MPs are hop­ing Com­mons Speaker John Ber­cow – who met lead­ing Tory plot­ter Sir Oliver Letwin last week – will al­low par­lia­men­tary time for them to try and change the law.

MPs are braced for an­gry de­bates over the com­ing days, with ex­pec­ta­tions that sit­ting ses­sions could go into the early hours and pos­si­bly be held over the week­end.

Mr Cor­byn has also in­di­cated he could trig­ger a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence in the Gov­ern­ment later this week to try and top­ple Mr John­son.

Shadow Brexit Sec­re­tary Sir Keir Starmer yes­ter­day con­firmed Labour in­tended to ta­ble a “sim­ple” par­lia­men­tary bill de­signed to out­law a no-deal Brexit. Sir Keir told the BBC it would be “un­law­ful” for Mr John­son to take Britain out of the EU with­out a deal.

But Mr Gove, re­fused to rule out the Gov­ern­ment ig­nor­ing a Com­mons vote on the Bill. Speak­ing on The An­drew Marr Show yes­ter­day, he said: “Let’s see what the leg­is­la­tion says.

“You’re ask­ing me about a pig in a poke. And I will wait to see what leg­is­la­tion the op­po­si­tion may try to bring for­ward.”

Con­ser­va­tive Party chair­man James Clev­erly said Labour would “try any­thing” to get the ref­er­en­dum re­sult can­celled.

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