PM faces down rebel Cabinet ministers and ‘lemming’ MPs

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6405057/PM-faces-rebel-Cabinet-ministers-lemming-MPs.html

Theresa May today insisted Britain will be able to strike trade deals around the world and that the transition deal will end before the 2022 General Election and she issued a rallying cry to business to back her Brexit deal.

The PM hailed her divorce agreement as a ‘good’ deal which would finally let the country regain control of its borders, laws and money. 

Facing down her mutinous MPs, she mounted another robust defence of the package thrashed out with Brussels despite the threat of a no-confidence vote by her own backbenchers.

In a well-received speech to business leaders, she said the blueprint will allow the UK to regain control of immigration – while keeping ties with the EU strong and protecting jobs.

‘The agreement is a good one for the UK. It fulfils the wishes of the British people as expressed in the 2016 referendum,’ she said. 

‘Let no one be in any doubt. I am determined to deliver it.’

Mrs May also urged the public to listen to businesses highlighting the threat to the economy from crashing out of the bloc, saying that such firms were ‘providing your jobs that ensure that you have that income that puts food on the table for your family’.

Moving to quell calls from within Cabinet for the deal to be renegotiated, the premier made clear that there is no prospect of reopening the divorce talks – saying the task now was to finalise the future trade framework. 

The tough stance came as mutinous Tory MPs pleaded with colleagues to write letters of no-confidence to the powerful 1922 committee – amid signs they are still struggling to reach the 48 needed to force a full vote. 

Some politicians are thought to have been put off after sensing strong resistance in their constituency parties over the weekend. Senior Conservatives have also appealed for them to hold fire, with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell warning that the party would sustain massive damage if they were seen to ‘hunt her down’ as happened to Margaret Thatcher.

Tory ex-leader Lord Howard said that while he personally opposes the Brexit deal it should be put to Parliament. 

The PM went on the offensive in a speech to the CBI today (pictured) saying her Brexit deal is the best thing for the country

The PM went on the offensive in a speech to the CBI today (pictured) saying her Brexit deal is the best thing for the country

Michael Gove (pictured leaving his London home this morning) eased the pressure on Mrs May last week by making clear he will not resign

Michael Gove (pictured leaving his London home this morning) eased the pressure on Mrs May last week by making clear he will not resign

MPs in the European Research Group - which is led by Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured in Westminster today) - have joined efforts to oust Mrs May, although it is split on the issue

MPs in the European Research Group – which is led by Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured in Westminster today) – have joined efforts to oust Mrs May, although it is split on the issue

EU foreign ministers underlined the choice facing Parliament as they arrived at a meeting in Brussels today, warning the package on the table is the ‘best there is’. 

Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the arrangements that had been painstakingly put together over nearly two years are ‘fair and balanced’ and the UK will be left in ‘full control’. 

In another day of high-drama in the Brexit battle: 

  • Tory Eurosceptics say they expect a no-confidence vote to be triggered within days, as more MPs submit letters to be sent to 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady. 
  • David Davis says he believed the figure is over 40 and could be ‘teetering on the brink’ of the 48 threshold needed to force a vote. Mr Davis bizarrely quoted the Spice Girls as he said Mrs May should ‘stop right now’. 
  • Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom and Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt are said to be still considering resigning rather than endorsing the Brexit deal – although the idea of a ‘Gang of Five’ ministers fighting against her appears to have receded. 
  • Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed the transition period could be extended for up to two years in order to smooth the process of leaving the EU. But Mrs May insisted she believed it must finish in time for the next general election in May 2022.

Mrs May today said the divorce arrangements have already been ‘agreed in full’ as she insists her settlement is a ‘good one for the UK’.

Addressing the CBI annual conference in London, the Prime Minister said the priority in this ‘intense week of negotiations’ is to ‘hammer out’ the framework of the future trade deal.

Who has sent letters of no confidence in May?

Letters of no confidence in Theresa May are confidential – but some of her strongest critics have gone public.

If 48 letters are sent a vote is called.

This is who has definitely sent a letter: 

  1. Jacob Rees-Mogg, North East Somerset, Jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk 
  2. Steve Baker, Wycombe,  steve.baker.mp@parliament.uk 
  3. Sheryll Murray, South East Cornwall, sheryll.murray.mp@parliament.uk
  4. Anne-Marie Morris, Newton Abbott, annemarie.morris.mp@parliament.uk
  5. Lee Rowley, North East Derbyshire,  lee.rowley.mp@parliament.uk
  6. Henry Smith, Crawley, henry.smith.mp@parliament.uk
  7. Simon Clarke, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland,  simon.clarke.mp@parliament.uk
  8. Peter Bone, Wellingborough,  bonep@parliament.uk
  9. James Duddridge, Rochford and Southend East,  james@jamesduddridge.com
  10. Philip Davies, Shipley,  daviesp@parliament.uk
  11. Andrea Jenkyns, Morley and Outwood,  andrea.jenkyns.mp@parliament.uk
  12. Andrew Bridgen, North West Leicestershire, andrew.bridgen.mp@parliament.uk
  13. Nadine Dorries, Mid Bedfordshire,  dorriesn@parliament.uk 
  14. Laurence Robertson, Tewkesbury, robertsonl@parliament.uk 
  15. Martin Vickers, Cleethorpes,  martin.vickers.mp@parliament.uk
  16. Ben Bradley, Mansfield,  ben.bradley.mp@parliament.uk
  17. Adam Holloway, Gravesham,  hollowaya@parliament.uk
  18. John Whittingdale, Maldon,  john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk
  19. Maria Caulfield, Lewes,  maria.caulfield.mp@parliament.uk
  20. Mark Francois, Rayleigh and Wickford,  mark.francois.mp@parliament.uk
  21. David Jones, Clwyd West, david.jones@parliament.uk
  22. Marcus Fysh, Yeovil,  marcus.fysh.mp@parliament.uk
  23. Chris Green,  Bolton West,  chris.green.mp@parliament.uk
  24. Zac Goldsmith, Richmond Park, zac@zacgoldsmith.com
  25. Bill Cash, Stone, cashw@parliament.uk
  26. Philip Hollobone, Kettering,  philip.hollobone.mp@parliament.uk 

She told delegates that her agreement will create a level playing field on immigration that means EU nationals will no longer be able to ‘jump the queue’.

‘Getting back full control of our borders is an issue of great importance to the British people… once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here,’ she said.

‘It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi.

‘Instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer.

‘Not only will this deliver on the verdict of the referendum, it should lead to greater opportunity for young people in this country to access training and skilled employment.’

The stark message about the options facing Parliament was underlined by EU ministers as they arrived at a Brussels meeting today.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said: ‘Boris Johnson once said ‘Britain is leaving the EU, It is not leaving Europe’. 

‘I think the challenge now is for these Brexit dogmatists to show whether that is true. 

‘I think Theresa May deserves praise for her position. ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ has disappeared. ‘Any deal is better than no deal’ is now the slogan. That is right. 

‘This deal that is now on the table is the best there is. There is no better deal for this crazy Brexit.’

As Conservative MPs upped their efforts to for a no-confidence vote, David Davis said he believed over 40 letters have been submitted to Sir Graham, and the numbers ‘seem to be teetering close to getting over the 48’.

He also said Mrs May will be the ‘first person’ to find out if he submits a letter. 

Backbencher Anne Marie Morris said there was ‘no question’ the threshold of 48 letters would be reached this week. 

She told BBC Breakfast that Mrs May ‘has had one of the most difficult jobs’, something she respects her for, but that the Prime Minister is ‘not going to deliver Brexit’. 

Asked who would deliver for the country if Mrs May is removed, she added: ‘There are lots of new very bright, able people in the party. 

‘My experience is if you name these people, it is always the kiss of death… I think it would be somebody new, somebody from the 2010 or 2015 intake. 

‘I don’t think it will be, dare I say, one of the old guard… I believe people, the general public, want somebody new who is not in a way tainted by all the debate, and the debacle and behaviour of the last few years.’ 

Fellow MP Simon Clarke told the BBC that colleagues needed to ‘search their consciences’ and write letters.

‘It is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks,’ he said. 

But Tory former leader Lord Howard said although he was against the deal, a vote of confidence would be a distraction, telling the Today programme: ‘I don’t think that Members of Parliament should be distracted in the next few weeks by a confidence motion, or a leadership contest which might follow that. 

‘They should be concentrating on the document and its implications.’

Mr Mitchell said the party would sustain huge damage if was seen to ‘hunt down’ the PM in the same way it did Thatcher in 1990. 

Scottish Conservative Andrew Bowie said he had found activists and members of the public were behind the PM.

‘I don’t get the ‘Tory MPs go to their associations, they will have heard that they need to get rid of the PM and the deal’… Nothing could be further from the truth in my case!’ he said. 

What Theresa May told the CBI about…

Immigration 

Once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here.

It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi.

Instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer.

Jobs

The outline future framework agrees to the creation of a comprehensive free trade area with the EU, our biggest and nearest goods market.

Zero tariffs, no fees, charges or restrictions across all goods sectors, with an ambitious customs arrangement that respects both sides’ legal orders…

The deal proposed will work for all (businesses) and sustain the livelihoods they provide to working people across the UK. 

Transition period 

We have agreed a transition period, to avoid a cliff-edge for business and to provide the certainty you need to invest. 

The choice facing MPs 

My job is to get the best deal. Parliament must then examine it and do what is in the national interest. 

‘Everyone I’ve spoken to, assoc Chairman, members, ordinary members of the public, supporting the PM.’ 

Mrs May yesterday took a swipe at Tory rivals threatening to unseat her as party leader, warning that she was not ‘going to be distracted’ from the ‘important job of making sure we do get that good final deal for this country’.

She argued that a change of leadership would not make it easier to get a deal past Parliament, but would instead create economic instability and put jobs at risk.

In a message to those plotting her downfall, including members of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, she said she had not considered quitting.

She told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘A change of leadership at this point isn’t going to make the negotiations any easier and it isn’t going to change the parliamentary arithmetic. 

‘What it will do is bring in a degree of uncertainty. That is uncertainty for people and their jobs.

‘What it will do is mean that it is a risk that we delay the negotiations and that is a risk that Brexit gets delayed or frustrated.’ 

Asked if she had considered stepping down, Mrs May said: ‘No, I haven’t. Of course it has been a tough week – actually these negotiations have been tough right from the start – but they were always going to get even more difficult right toward the end when we are coming to that conclusion.’

She added that the next seven days ‘are going to be critical’, and said she would be travelling back to Brussels to talk with key figures – including European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker – ahead of an emergency European Council summit on Sunday.

A group of five Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers – Commons leader Mrs Leadsom, environment secretary Mr Gove, international development secretary Penny Mordaunt, transport secretary Chris Grayling and international trade secretary Liam Fox – had been expected to gather this morning for breakfast to discuss how to push for changes to Mrs May’s Brexit deal.

However, the meeting is thought to have been dropped. 

Dr Fox wrote a supportive article in the Telegraph today urging MPs to get behind the PM. Mrs Leadsom is still on ‘resignation watch’ as she wrestles with whether she can support the deal. 

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Mr Clark has fuelled speculation that the transition period could be extended beyond the mooted end date of December 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement contains a blank date for when the implementation period could be pushed to if the UK decides to do that rather than enter the Irish border ‘backstop’ arrangements.

How CBI delegates reacted to May’s plans 

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn told the event in east London: ‘It is a compromise. But it is hard-won progress.’ 

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry said: ‘One in five small employers rely on staff from the EU. More than one in three say finding the right staff is currently holding back growth. 

‘If they’re lumbered with complex paperwork and a surcharge to bring in EU staff post-Brexit, that will cause a significant drag on the billions they contribute to the economy each year.’ 

Danny Mortimer, NHS Employers chief executive, warned the planned changes could cut off the supply of nurses. 

‘We know we need to increase the number of UK trained health professionals, especially nurses,’ he said. 

Brexit-supporting businessman Roger Kendrick told Mrs May: ‘Think again about the economics of the whole thing.’

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

‘We are encouraged to see the Prime Minister talking about the importance of maintaining frictionless trade for goods after 29 March. However, the current uncertainty is a concern for consumers and retailers alike.

Mr Barnier has suggested that the transition could finish at the end of 2022. 

Mr Clark said: ‘It would be at our request, and that would be a maximum period. 

‘But it would be for this purpose; it would be if the negotiations are making good progress but haven’t quite been finalised, to have the option – and it would be an option for us, if there is value in having the option – rather than going in for a temporary period into the backstop, and having a second change, to have the option, if we wanted, if the UK wanted, to extend the transition.’ 

Karen Bradley, one of Mrs May’s closest Cabinet allies, yesterday said the country faced a choice between what she termed ‘the only workable deal that fulfils the will of the referendum’, or ‘back to square one on Brexit’.

The Northern Ireland secretary added: ‘Clearly, this is a deal that has involved some difficult choices at times, and an element of compromise.

‘That is an unavoidable fact of negotiations and I accept not everybody is going to agree with every point of detail or choice that we have made.

‘But it is fundamentally a deal which is in the national interest. It is a deal that will protect jobs, our national security and the integrity of our precious United Kingdom.’ 

Ms Mordaunt insisted she was working for the ‘best deal possible’ today amid claims the Brexiteer wing of the Cabinet could still quit.

The group of Leavers – that also includes Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Mrs Leadsom, Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – are thought likely to hold talks before Cabinet tomorrow.

They opted to stay in Cabinet last week insisting it was the only way to get Brexit back on track. 

Ms Mordaunt swerved questions about whether she was still considering her position as she left home today.

She told Sky News: ‘I’ll be working with the whole of the Cabinet to get the best deal possible for the United Kingdom.’ 

Mr Gove said today the ‘Prime Minister is doing a very good job’ and said she had his ‘full support’ when asked if he would resign without changes.

How Brexiteers would get rid of Theresa May

Brexiteers have attempted a coup against Theresa May in fury at her draft deal with the EU – but they will have to navigate Tory rules to force her out.

The Prime Minister insisted she plans to ‘see this through’ to make clear to the rebels she will not quit voluntarily.

This is how the Tory Party rules work:

What is the mechanism for removing the Tory leader? Tory Party rules allow the MPs to force a vote of no confidence in their leader.

How is that triggered? A vote is in the hands of the chairman of the Tory Party’s backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

A vote of no confidence must be held if 15 per cent of Tory MPs write to the chairman. Currently that threshold is 48 MPs.

Letters are confidential unless the MP sending it makes it public. This means only Sir Graham knows how many letters there are.

This possible delay could give Mrs May a ‘grace period’ where she knows a contest is imminent but not yet public knowledge.

How is a vote announced? There are few fixed rules but Sir Graham is likely to inform Downing Street or the Chief Whip and then make a public announcement.

Sir Graham is likely to check with the MPs who have sent him a letter before making an announcement in case any of them want to withdraw. This will happen secretly.

How will the vote happen? After it is announced, a vote will happen quickly, with Tory MPs invited to cast a secret ballot in a Commons committee room.

Voting will be open for one day and Sir Graham will announce the result at the end.

What needs to happen for Theresa May to win? Officially, Mrs May only needs to win a simple majority of Tory MPs – currently that is 158 MPs.

Politically, winning by one would be devastating. If more than 100 MPs vote against her, most observers think she would be finished.

What happens if she loses? Mrs May is sacked as Tory leader and Sir Graham will announce a leadership contest. She cannot stand in the contest.

She will probably stay on as Prime Minister until a replacement is elected but have no political power or authority to do anything.

What happens next? In a Tory leadership contest, any MP can stand with a proposer and seconder.

Tory MPs vote several times a week on the candidates with the last place candidate being removed from the race at each ballot.

When there are only two candidates remaining, a run off is held among all Tory members in the country.

How long will it take? The first phase depends on how many candidates there are. A large field could mean a fortnight or more of regular ballots.

In the past, the second round has taken anywhere from four to 12 twelve weeks – but some think a vote of Tory members could be finished in just a week.   

Who could replace Theresa May? As Brexiteers move against the Prime Minister because of her deal ‘betrayal’ these are some of the leading contenders to take over

Theresa May looks certain to face a vote of no confidence after her Brexit deal was rejected out of hand by Eurosceptics.

If she loses the Tory Party will launch a leadership contest to replace her – a process that will likely take weeks with just months until Brexit Day.

These are some of the leading contenders to replace her:

Dominic Raab

How did they vote on Brexit?

Leave, with a second tier role campaigning for Vote Leave.

What is their view now?

Mr Raab was installed as Brexit Secretary to deliver the Chequers plan but sensationally resigned today saying the deal is not good enough.

What are their chances?

Being the first to resign from the Cabinet has put a rocket booster under Mr Raab’s chances, fuelling his popularity among the hardline Brexiteers. May struggle to overcome bigger beasts and better known figures.

Odds: About 11-2

Newly installed as Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab (pictured in Downing Street on Tuesday) is trying to negotiate Theresa May's Brexit deal

Newly installed as Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab (pictured in Downing Street on Tuesday) is trying to negotiate Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Boris Johnson

How did they vote on Brexit?

Led the Vote Leave campaign alongside Michael Gove.

What is their view now?

Hard line Brexiteer demanding a clean break from Brussels. The former foreign secretary is violently opposed to Theresa May’s Chequers plan and a leading voice demanding a Canada-style trade deal.

What are their chances?

Rated as second favourite by the bookies, Mr Johnson’s biggest challenge will be navigating the Tory leadership rules. He may be confident of winning a run-off among Tory members but must first be selected as one of the top two candidates by Conservative MPs.

Odds: 5/1

Rated as second favourite by the bookies, Boris Johnson's (pictured at Tory conference last month) biggest challenge will be navigating the Tory leadership rules

Rated as second favourite by the bookies, Boris Johnson’s (pictured at Tory conference last month) biggest challenge will be navigating the Tory leadership rules

Sajid Javid

How did they vote on Brexit?

Remain but kept a low profile in the referendum.

What is their view now?

Pro delivering Brexit and sceptical of the soft Brexit options.

What are their chances?

Probably the leading candidate from inside the Cabinet after his dramatic promotion to Home Secretary. Mr Javid has set himself apart from Mrs May on a series of policies, notably immigration.

Favourite with several of the bookies at around 5/1.

Sajid Javid (pictured in Downing Street) is probably the leading candidate from inside the Cabinet after his dramatic promotion to Home Secretary

Sajid Javid (pictured in Downing Street) is probably the leading candidate from inside the Cabinet after his dramatic promotion to Home Secretary

Jeremy Hunt

How did they vote on Brexit?

Remain.

What is their view now?

The Foreign Secretary claims the EU Commission’s ‘arrogance’ has made him a Brexiteer.

What are their chances?

Another top contender inside Cabinet, Mr Hunt’s stock rose during his record-breaking stint at the Department of Health and won a major promotion to the Foreign Office after Mr Johnson’s resignation. Widely seen as a safe pair of hands which could be an advantage if the contest comes suddenly.

Rated around 8/1 by the bookies.

Jeremy Hunt's stock rose during his record-breaking stint at the Department of Health and won a major promotion to the Foreign Office after Mr Johnson's resignation

Jeremy Hunt’s stock rose during his record-breaking stint at the Department of Health and won a major promotion to the Foreign Office after Mr Johnson’s resignation

David Davis

How did they vote on Brexit?

Leave.

What is their view now?

Leave and a supporter of scrapping Mrs May’s plan and pursuing a Canada-style trade deal with the EU.

What are their chances?

The favoured choice of many hard Brexiteers. Seen as a safer pair of hands than Mr Johnson and across the detail of the current negotiation after two years as Brexit Secretary. He could be promoted a caretaker to see through Brexit before standing down.

Unlikely to be the choice of Remain supporters inside the Tory Party – and has been rejected by the Tory membership before, in the 2005 race against David Cameron.

Rated around 11/1 by the bookies.

David Davis (pictured last month at a Brexiteer policy launch) is seen as a safer pair of hands than Mr Johnson and across the detail of the current negotiation after two years as Brexit Secretary

David Davis (pictured last month at a Brexiteer policy launch) is seen as a safer pair of hands than Mr Johnson and across the detail of the current negotiation after two years as Brexit Secretary

Amber Rudd

How did they vote on Brexit?

Remain. Represented Britain Stronger in Europe in the TV debates.

What is their view now?

Strongly remain and supportive of a second referendum – particularly given a choice between that and no deal.

What are their chances?

Popular among Conservative MPs as the voice of Cameron-style Toryism, Ms Rudd is still seen as a contender despite resigning amid the Windrush scandal – and she was boosted further by her return to Cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary on Friday night. She is badly hampered by having a tiny majority in her Hastings constituency and would not be able to unite the Tory party in a sudden contest over the Brexit negotiation.

Out to 50/1 among many bookies.

Popular among Conservative MPs as the voice of Cameron-style Toryism, Amber Rudd (pictured at Tory conference last month) is still seen as a contender despite resigning amid the Windrush scandal

Popular among Conservative MPs as the voice of Cameron-style Toryism, Amber Rudd (pictured at Tory conference last month) is still seen as a contender despite resigning amid the Windrush scandal

Penny Mordaunt

How did they vote on Brexit?

Leave

What is their view now?

Leave and subject of persistent rumour she could be the next to quit Cabinet over Mrs May’s Brexit deal.

What are their chances?

Possible dark horse in the contest, Ms Mordaunt is not well known to the public but is seen as a contender in Westminster. She has been encouraged to join the Cabinet revolt over the Brexit deal and could resign within hours.

Bookies rate her around 16/1.

Possible dark horse in the contest, Penny Mordaunt (pictured in Downing Street) is not well known to the public but is seen as a contender in Westminster

Possible dark horse in the contest, Penny Mordaunt (pictured in Downing Street) is not well known to the public but is seen as a contender in Westminster

How WILL Theresa May get the votes to pass her Brexit Deal through Parliament? The PM could need the support of more than FIFTY hardcore Brexiteers from her own party plus Labour rebels

Theresa May has secured her deal in Brussels but her fight to get it actually in place in time for Brexit day is just beginning.

If the Cabinet agrees to the deal the biggest hurdle will be the ‘meaningful vote’ on the plans in Parliament.

This is expected to take place in December to ensure the deal is over its biggest hurdle before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.

To win, Mrs May will need to get back around half of the 80 hardcore Tory Brexiteer rebels and secure the support of the 10 DUP MPs.

Even then she will probably still need the help of dozens of Labour MPs to save her deal and possibly her job.

Theresa May will need 318 votes in the Commons if every single MP turns up. She can only rely on about 230 votes – meaning she will need to get back around half of the 80 hardcore Tory Brexiteer rebels and secure the support of the 10 DUP MPs, plus dozens of Labour MPs 

This is how the House of Commons might break down:

The Government

Who are they: All members of the Government are the so-called ‘payroll’ vote and are obliged to follow the whips orders or resign. It includes the Cabinet, all junior ministers, the whips and unpaid parliamentary aides.

How many of them are there? About 150.

What do they want? For the Prime Minister to survive, get her deal and reach exit day with the minimum of fuss.

Many junior ministers want promotion while many of the Cabinet want to be in a position to take the top job when Mrs May goes.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Brexiteers in the European Research Group (ERG)

Who are they? Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, the ERG counts Boris Johnson, David Davis and other former ministers including Steve Baker and Iain Duncan Smith.

How many of them are there? Estimates vary on how many members it has. It secured 62 signatures on a letter to the PM in February while Mr Baker has claimed the group has a bloc of 80 Tory MPs willing to vote against May’s plans.

The group’s deputy leader Mark Francois said today there were at least 40 hard liners who would vote against the deal in all circumstances.

What do they want? The ERG has said Mrs May should abandon her plans for a unique trade deal and instead negotiate a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal.

This is based on a trade deal signed between the EU and Canada in August 2014 that eliminated 98 per cent of tariffs and taxes charged on goods shipped across the Atlantic.

The EU has long said it would be happy to do a deal based on Canada – but warn it would only work for Great Britain and not Northern Ireland.

The ERG say the model can be adapted to work for the whole UK. They say Northern Ireland can be included by using technology on the Irish border to track goods and make sure products which don’t meet EU rules do not enter the single market.

They also say it would give complete freedom for Britain to sign new trade deals around the world to replace any losses in trade with the EU.

The group is content to leave the EU without a deal if Brussels will not give in.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Moderates in the Brexit Delivery Group (BDG) and other Loyalists

Who are they? A newer group, the BDG counts members from across the Brexit divide inside the Tory Party. It includes former minister Nick Boles and MPs including Remainer Simon Hart and Brexiteer Andrew Percy.

There are also many unaligned Tory MPs who are desperate to talk about anything else.

How many of them are there? There are thought to be around 50 members in the BDG, with a few dozen other MPs loyal to the Prime Minister

What do they want? The BDG prioritises delivering on Brexit and getting to exit day on March 29, 2019, without destroying the Tory Party or the Government. If the PM gets a deal the group will probably vote for it.

It is less interested in the exact form of the deal but many in it have said Mrs May’s Chequers plan will not work.

Mr Boles has set out a proposal for Britain to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) until a free trade deal be negotiated – effectively to leave the EU but stay in close orbit as a member of the single market.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Unrepentant Remainers in the People’s Vote

Who are they? A handful of about five Tory MPs – mostly former ministers – who never supported Brexit and think the failure of politicians to get a deal means Parliament should hand it back to the people. The group includes Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve and Justine Greening.

What do they want instead? A so-called People’s Vote. The exact timing still needs to be sorted out but broadly, the group wants the Article 50 process postponed and a second referendum scheduled.

This would take about six months from start to finish and they group wants Remain as an option on the ballot paper, probably with Mrs May’s deal as the alternative.

There are established pro-Remain campaigns born out of the losing Britain Stronger in Europe campaign from 2016. It is supported by Tony Blair, the Liberal Democrats and assorted pro-EU politicians outside the Tory party.

How will they vote? Hard to say for sure. Probably with the Prime Minister if the only other option was no deal.

The DUP

Who are they? The Northern Ireland Party signed up to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservative Party to prop up the Government.

They are Unionist and say Brexit is good but must not carve Northern Ireland out of the Union.

How many of them are there? 10.

What do they want? A Brexit deal that protects Northern Ireland inside the UK.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister if the deal breaches the red line, with the Prime Minister if she can persuade them it does not. The group currently says No.

Labour Loyalists

Who are they? Labour MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and willing to follow his whipping orders.

How many of them are there? Between 210 and 240 MPs depending on exactly what Mr Corbyn orders them to do.

What do they want? Labour policy is to demand a general election and if the Government refuses, ‘all options are on the table’, including a second referendum.

Labour insists it wants a ‘jobs first Brexit’ that includes a permanent customs union with the EU. It says it is ready to restart negotiations with the EU with a short extension to the Article 50 process.

The party has six tests Mrs May’s deal must pass to get Labour votes.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister’s current deal.

Labour Rebels

Who are they? A mix of MPs totally opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, some Labour Leave supporters who want a deal and some MPs who think any deal will do at this point.

How many of them are there? Up to 45 but possibly no more than 20 MPs.

What do they want? An orderly Brexit and to spite Mr Corbyn.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Other Opposition parties

Who are they? The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Caroline Lucas and assorted independents.

How many of them are there? About 60 MPs.

How will they vote? Mostly against the Prime Minister – though two of the independents are suspended Tories and two are Brexiteer former Labour MPs.