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Downing Street sources and Senior government Ministers have told journalists that if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down for a third time tomorrow, the government will call a General Election in an attempt to break the current Parliamentary deadlock.
The BBC’s Senior Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, has been told by a government source that if Mrs May’s deal passes in a crucial last ditch vote tomorrow in the House of Commons, Number 10 is confident the UK will leave the EU on May 22nd.
However, also according to Kuenssberg, the government is now clear in its belief that tomorrow’s vote is the last chance for Mrs May’s deal – and that if it fails, they will seek a long extension to Brexit and call a General Election:
1. Govt source confirms they are laying motion NOW to give MP s vote tomorrow on only the withdrawal agreement – if it passes, Number 10 believes we will leave on May 22nd – it's the last chance, they say, to avoid a longer extension and parliamentary elections
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 28, 2019
Furthemore, Paul Waugh from the Huffington Post has also been briefed by government Ministers who claim that if Mrs May’s deal is blocked, or things fall apart, then a General Election may be called “early next week”:
Govt ministers now privately suggesting that a general election will be called if tomorrow's vote is blocked, or things 'fall apart' early next week. •head/desk*
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) March 28, 2019
Earlier today, the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, confirmed that he would allow Theresa May’s deal to be voted on for a third time tomorrow.
Bercow’s decision came despite issuing an earlier statement where he suggested that significant changes would have to be made to the bill in order for it to be brought before MPs again.
With Mr Bercow ruling that he now believes the deal to be significantly different, the third – and almost certainly final – vote on Mrs May’s Brexit withdrawal bill is scheduled for 14:30 tomorrow afternoon.
Whilst the government are said to be confident that they can finally get the deal through Parliament, the Tories’ confidence and supply partners, The DUP, have consistently stated that they will still be opposing the deal.
NEW: DUP confirm they will vote against the Withdrawal Agreement tomorrow, meaning Theresa May is on course for another big defeat.
— Kevin Schofield (@KevinASchofield) March 28, 2019
Furthermore, the leader of the hard-Brexit supporting European Research Group (ERG), Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said that his vote is dependent on the DUP’s stance – meaning that if they refuse to support it, he will follow suit.
Mrs May’s Brexit deal was rejected by 149 votes at the second attempt, and it still looks likely that she will need to sway numerous Labour MPs in order for it to pass tomorrow afternoon.
Currently, there remain around 50 Tory MPs who are still publicly against the deal, and with just 3 Labour MPs voting for it last time, and with no more Labour MPs likely to change course, it seems likely that the PM’s deal will again fall short of a majority.
If the deal does indeed fail again, a General Election now looks completely unavoidable.