Brexit PLOT: How Theresa May could EXPLOIT Brexiteer fears to force through HER deal

could exploit an extension to Article 50 and play on the “fears” of Brexiteer MPs. Katy Hayward, author of Bordering on Brexit, predicted the Prime Minister could threaten members of the European Research Group (ERG) to back her deal or risk “no Brexit at all”. Ms Hayward told France 24: “Some of the fears of hardline Brexiteers is that actually coming back with a meaningful vote and getting it voted down would mean that there may well be no Brexit. This is something that many in the Tory Party, particularly in the ERG, which has really campaigned for a hard Brexit, they have been most fearful of that.

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“I think some of the votes yesterday, the defeat of some of the amendments put forward from the ERG side, would give rise to concerns that actually there is no will for a no deal within Westminster.

“And this possibly is giving succour to those who think maybe there is hope of a second referendum, maybe there is hope possibly even of Article 50 being revoked, a very long shot but it is possible.

“So Tusk saying those kind of words possibly would help Theresa May stare down the ERG and say ‘listen, if you don’t back my deal maybe we won’t be facing Brexit at all’.

“That might change the dynamic somewhat.”

Brexit news: ERG members are “most fearful” of no Brexit, claimed an expert (Image: Getty)

Getting it voted down would mean that there may well be no Brexit

Katy Hayward

The comments follow European Council President Donald Tusk tweeting on Thursday: “During my consultations head of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.”

On Thursday MPs voted by 413 to 202 in favour of delaying Brexit at least three months in order to give the Mrs May more time to secure support for her draft EU withdrawal agreement.

She is expected to hold a third “meaningful vote” next week as the pressure of a potential two-year delay to Brexit looms over MPs.

She could even hold a fourth vote immediately after the European Council summit on March 21-22, which is where EU leaders will spend hours mulling over their demands for a delay.

An EU diplomat said: “Leaders will push Mrs May towards a longer delay because a short technical extension isn’t the answer for the political questions that need to be resolved.

“Brussels will not demand any concessions from Britain apart from reassurances that EU elections will be held in the country.

“If Britain refuses to take part, there will likely be some veto mechanism that allows us to end the extension.

“This will allow us to solely place the blame on the British Government for no deal.”

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