Theresa May’s deal was widely rejected by Parliament in the numerous times MPs voted during the last few months. But now her agreement could be brought back, thanks to a new group of MPs hoping to avoid a no deal Brexit. The new cross-party collective, called MPs for a deal, is hoping Boris Johnson will build on the agreement negotiated with the European Union during her time as Prime Minister.
Who are MPs for a deal?
Notable ex-Tory MPs such as Nick Boles and previous Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart have joined the ‘MPs for a deal’ group, as has Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb.
More than a dozen MPs have joined the coalition, including a number of Labour MPs.
Group member Labour MP Stephen Kinnock said at today’s press conference the current Brexit deal on the table is “the basic foundation of a perfectly pragmatic deal”.
He said: “The fact is that we are rooted in reality here. This is not a unicorn.
“We have something here which is the basic foundation of a perfectly pragmatic deal that we believe can command a majority in Parliament and also begin to reunite our deeply divided country and even at this 11th hour we think there is time to do it.
“We hope that by 14 October at the latest, if not before, this Prime Minister will be ready to bring a deal to Parliament, and MPs for a Deal wish him well in doing that and will be backing that and supporting that, because it is the only way to take the country forward.”
Mr Kinnock said the initiative was “not about reproducing a carbon copy” of the deal that has failed to pass to get through Parliament three times.
Other Labour MPs to have joined the collective include Caroline Flint and Gloria De Piero.
Caroline Flint said 50 Labour MPs were interested in leaving the EU with a deal by October 31.
A total of 21 Conservative MPs were stripped of the Tory whip last week following the House of Commons vote on the Benn bill.
Some of these now independent MPs are yet to join the collective, including notably ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.
Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down Parliament today for five weeks has been met with widespread criticism, and protests have occurred in the House of Commons this week.
MPs are not due back in Parliament until October 14.
Boris Johnson’s second attempt at calling a snap general election was defeated again last night, with opposition MPs refusing to back it.
Only 293 MPs voted for the Prime Minister’s motion, which was below the two thirds majority needed.
The Benn bill, which has now become law, received royal assent on Monday.
Under its terms, the Prime Minister will be required to ask for an extension to Brexit beyond the October 31 deadline - unless Parliament approves a deal before October 19.