Leading backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg and other Brexiteer Tories have indicated their readiness to support Theresa May’s Brexit deal in order to prevent Britain’s departure from the bloc being sabotaged Remainer MPs. During a debate with Tory MP Nigel Evans and Independent MP Heidi Allen, the ITV Good Morning Britain host urged MPs to “grow a pair” and stand up for their principles instead of backing a Brexit deal they have once “trashed”. The Good Morning Britain presenter insisted he would respect Brexit-backing MPs more if they did not support Theresa May’s deal.
He ripped into the politicians for not respecting the result of the 2016 referendum and said: “You all stood on a platform of representing the British public and right now you have all singularly failed, or rather, collectively failed.”
Heidi Allen, who has repeatedly demanded a so-called People’s Vote, hit back and said: “Or perhaps we are trying to protect their futures. Does it occur to you that possibly the reason MPs are really struggling with finding a way through this is because in their hearts they know Brexit is going to make their constituents poorer?”
In response, Piers blasted: “Yes but you know what? The trouble is that it didn’t say on the ballot paper that if you vote Leave or stay in you didn’t have all these little caveats, you know, you’re a Remainer MP and you can use the excuse it is bad for the people.”
He added: “No deal is actually the purest form of leaving imaginable yet you have all taken it off the table so now we are left with a Theresa May fudge which everybody hates and now is all pretending is the best deal possible when you have been saying is a terrible deal.
“So, forgive me if I have lost confidence.”
The furious TV host then questioned Brexit-supporting MP Nigel Evans for announcing his support for Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
Piers said: “It’s a load of baloney Brexit deal that everyone has been trashing. She has had two of the most destructive negative votes in the history of the House of Commons.
“Nothing has changed, it’s the same thing.”
Mr Evans replied: “I appreciate that but a lot of things have changed and one of them is that the Prime Minister took no deal off the table two days ago because she knows that Parliament will not vote for that.
“So, the hierarchy. Extending Article 50 is that we fight the European Union elections. That would be appaling.”
In response, Piers branded MPs as “unprincipled charlatans” following the Brexit U-turn. He said: “What’s going on now is just a shady load of people doing stuff to suit their own purposes and not actually principle.”
The ITV host then warned the best way to solve the deadlock is a general election. He joked: “PM for PM.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the influential European Research Group (ERG), publicly admitted MPs were now facing a choice of “deal or potentially no Brexit.”
Speaking on a podcast on the Conservativehome website for Tory activists, he said: “Whether we are there yet is another matter, but I have always thought that no-deal is better than Mrs May’s deal, but Mrs May’s deal is better than not leaving at all.”
The MP for North East Somerset added that “leaving the European Union, even leaving it inadequately and having work to do afterwards is better than not leaving at all”.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant, who has previously voiced his concern about backing the deal, also indicated his willingness to switch sides.
He said: “My fear is that if we don’t now back the withdrawal agreement – which frankly I feel very uncomfortable about, it’s not the best agreement we could have had by a long way – we’ll end up with this Remainer Parliament taking control of Brexit and giving us no Brexit at all in effect.”
Mrs May is set to appeal to backbench MPs to back her deal during a meeting of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon.
The Prime Minister admitted on Monday there was not yet enough support for her Brexit deal to bring it back before Parliament in a third meaningful vote.
Mrs Mays’s spokesman said: “We will only bring it back if we think we have a reasonable chance of success.
“The Prime Minister and her ministerial colleagues are working hard to try and build further support for her deal.”