MPs upend the Government’s authority by backing the Letwin amendment

‘Parliament seized control of Brexit last night as three government ministers quit to give MPs the power to tear up Theresa May’s deal. The business minister Richard Harrington joined Alistair Burt and Steve Brine in effectively resigning as they joined 29 Tory MPs defying a three-line whip to defeat the government. The move means that MPs will take control of the Commons agenda tomorrow to begin a process that could result in parliament backing a softer Brexit. In a resignation letter Mr Harrington accused Mrs May of “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to rule out a no-deal exit. MPs backed by 329 to 302 the process of indicative votes set out in an amendment led by Sir Oliver Letwin, the former cabinet minister.’ – The Times


May discusses resigning in return for Eurosceptics passing her deal

‘Mrs May has indicated for the first time that she would consider resigning in exchange for MPs passing her Brexit deal. The major admission came in a private conversation with senior Tory Eurosceptics at her Chequers country retreat on Sunday evening. But Mrs May also made it clear she would first need to know if the numbers were there for any resignation pact before she agrees to ponder it any further. One of the Brexiteers that Mrs May had the key conversation with was ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith, a long-standing close ally of hers. He is now leading delicate behind the scenes efforts to try to talk round diehard Brexiteers to agree to the deal that could end the four month Brexit logjam that has paralysed Westminster. It also emerged that IDS, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have all privately told friends they are ready to vote for the divorce deal if the PM sets a date to quit.’ – The Sun

>Today: The Moggcast. Deal-or-No-Brexit “becomes the choice eventually…May’s deal is better than not leaving at all”

Wallace: May’s failure shows why the next Tory leader must be chosen by a contested ballot

‘It’s all too common to hear the assertion that Tory members simply cannot be trusted with a choice of who should lead their Party: that they are idiots, or extremists, or both. But consider the recent record. In 2005, presented with David Davis and David Cameron, everyone assumed they would opt for the candidate they knew better, whose views were more in tune with their own, and who offered some comfortable continuity. Instead, they listened, weighed up both offers, and decided they preferred to be challenged in order to get back to winning elections. And, by and large, it worked. By contrast, the 2016 contest to choose Cameron’s successor was decided in Westminster without a sniff of a serious contest. And we are all paying the price three years on. Imagine if Conservative MPs had compelled May to actually campaign for the top job against a viable alternative candidate… How many of her flaws which were so brutally exposed in 2017 would have come to light earlier, when the stakes were lower for all involved and there was a chance to either resolve them or reject her?’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

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