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Emily Thornberry: This is the image the FT chose to accompany its story – with the shadow Foreign Secretary apparently raising two fingers to Mrs May.

Haven’t we been here before?

While it seems likely that all Labour MPs – even the Brexiters – may follow the party whip in a bid to force a general election, I’m not sure they can rely on the so-called Tory rebels to do the same.

Conservatives are notorious for being spineless when faced with a choice between standing up for their principles and hanging on to power.

The task for Labour is to convince the Conservatives who oppose Mrs May’s ‘Chequers’ plan that Brexit under a Labour government is likely to offer better prospects for them – personally – in the long term.

Is that achievable?

The UK’s opposition Labour party is set to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, according to one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior colleagues, who predicts that the lack of a viable exit from the EU would lead to the prime minister being forced from office before Christmas.

Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, told the Financial Times that a workable deal was “just not going to happen” under Mrs May.

She said there would need to be a general election within months given the likelihood that the prime minister would be defeated on the crucial vote on any Brexit deal.

Labour’s opposition to the deal means that it would require as few as 10 Tory MPs — from either the party’s hardline Eurosceptic or pro-EU wings — to defeat the government.

Some Labour Brexiters could still swing behind Mrs May but few would want to avoid a chance to bring down the government.

Already 25 Conservative MPs have pledged to defeat Mrs May’s Chequers blueprint for the UK’s relations with the EU post-Brexit, while several Europhile Conservatives have backed a second Brexit referendum.

Many MPs argue that the prime minister could not survive a defeat on her Brexit deal, which has become the centrepiece of her two years in office.

“It all depends on what Labour does,” said one minister. “If they are going to vote against us then that means she really is in trouble.”

Source: Labour to vote against Brexit deal, Emily Thornberry says | Financial Times

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