Suck it up, taunts Tory Re­mainer as May is locked in talks with rebels

Daily Mail - - News - By Jason Groves Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

THERESA May was last night un­der pres­sure to refuse fur­ther con­ces­sions to Tory Re­main­ers af­ter they boasted that Leave vot­ers would have to ‘suck it up’ and ac­cept free move­ment.

The Prime Min­is­ter has been locked in talks with rebel MPs af­ter they threat­ened mutiny over vi­tal Brexit leg­is­la­tion.

But there was fury af­ter arch Re­mainer Anna Soubry told MPs that mass im­mi­gra­tion was not a prob­lem – and urged Brexit vot­ers to ac­cept that it would have to con­tinue.

Mrs May later in­sisted she would not give way on the is­sue, say­ing she would not ‘coun­te­nance Par­lia­ment be­ing able to over­turn the will of the peo­ple’.

The rebels, led by for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Do­minic Grieve, are de­mand­ing the right for Par­lia­ment to take con­trol of the Brexit process if min­is­ters fail to strike a deal with Brussels that MPs find ac­cept­able.

Gov­ern­ment sources said the PM hoped to ta­ble a new com­pro­mise amend­ment to­day which will then be de­bated in the Lords on Mon­day.

But last night the two sides still ap­peared to be some dis­tance apart.

Down­ing Street said it was not pre­pared to dis­cuss the idea that min­is­ters should hand con­trol of Brexit to Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, pro-Re­main rebels warned they would join forces with Labour to de­feat the Gov­ern­ment over the is­sue next week un­less the PM backs down.

For­mer busi­ness min­is­ter Miss Soubry claimed Mrs May had pledged to tackle the is­sue dur­ing pri­vate talks on Tues­day and told her to ‘sort it’.

She added: ‘If the PM goes back on that there will be no agreed amend­ment that I can sup­port.’ In an in­cen­di­ary in­ter­ven­tion in the Com­mons, Miss Soubry in­sisted rebels were win­ning the war to keep Bri­tain in the EU in all but name.

She urged MPs to tell Leave vot­ers to ‘suck it up’ and ac­cept that free move­ment would have to con­tinue as part of any Brexit deal. ‘ Suck it up, suck it up and ac­cept there is no al­ter­na­tive other than the cus­toms union and sin­gle mar­ket,’ she said. ‘Let’s grab it and move on.’ Her com­ments

‘Cre­ate the most almighty prob­lem’

sparked fury, with fel­low Tory Simon Clarke warn­ing they would be met with ‘dis­be­lief’ by Leave vot­ers in his Mid­dles­brough South and East Cleve­land con­stituency.

He told MPs: ‘My con­stituents voted to leave the EU pre­cisely be­cause they were not go­ing to suck it up. They know what they voted for. If we break faith and ig­nore their voice we will cre­ate the most almighty prob­lem for our­selves and have lost the chance to have a sen­si­ble de­bate around is­sues like im­mi­gra­tion.’ Mrs May halted a ma­jor Tory re­bel­lion on the EU With­drawal Bill on Tues­day by agree­ing to hold talks with rebel MPs on their de­mands.

Gov­ern­ment sources said the PM was will­ing to dis­cuss the de­mand that MPs will get a guar­an­teed vote on Brexit, re­gard­less of whether min­is­ters suc­ceed in strik­ing a deal or not. But Mr Grieve and his sup­port­ers want the power to ‘direct’ the Gov­ern­ment if talks fail – hold­ing out the prospect that MPs could or­der min­is­ters to stay in the sin­gle mar­ket or not leave the EU at all.

Mrs May yes­ter­day said: ‘I can­not coun­te­nance Par­lia­ment be­ing able to over­turn the will of the Bri­tish peo­ple. Par­lia­ment gave the de­ci­sion to the Bri­tish peo­ple, the Bri­tish peo­ple voted to leave the Euro­pean Union and, as Prime Min­is­ter, I am de­ter­mined to de­liver that.’

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair­man of the Euro­pean Re­search Group of Euroscep­tic Tory MPs, said rebels’ de­mands for a mean­ing­ful vote were ‘not about par­lia­men­tary scru­tiny but about stop­ping Brexit’. Fel­low Tory Philip Davies said those call­ing for a mean­ing­ful vote ‘would be be­tray­ing the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum’.

Euroscep­tic MP Daniel Kawczyn­ski last night urged Leave vot­ers to boot out Tory rebels try­ing to thwart Brexit.

He added: ‘Some MPs still clearly don’t wish to re­spect the will of the Bri­tish peo­ple. I sin­cerely hope that their con­stituents will hold them to ac­count.’

Row: MP Anna Soubry yes­ter­day dur­ing a live BBC in­ter­view in the Com­mons

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