Monday 11 March 2019 7:29 am

Senior Tory MPs urge Theresa May to cancel Brexit vote

Senior Tory MPs have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel tomorrow’s vote on her Brexit deal amid fears she faces another heavy defeat, the Times has reported.

Leading Conservatives have told May she should pull the meaningful vote unless she secures major concessions from the EU.

Read more: Brexiters dismiss reports they could swing behind PM's deal if she resigns

Instead, they said the Prime Minister should table a motion outlining the kind of Brexit deal Tory MPs would accept in a bid to maintain party unity and put pressure on Brussels, according to the report.

“As it stands her deal is going to be defeated,” a party source told the newspaper. “It has been made clear to Downing Street that it would be eminently sensible to avoid that by proposing a motion that the party can support. Whether they listen or not is another matter.”

The comments come amid frantic negotiations in Brussels as negotiators try to reach a last-minute agreement with the EU, largely centred on the issue of the Irish backstop.

On Friday the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the UK will have the option to withdraw unilaterally from the customs union element of the backstop.

Read more: EU offers UK customs union exit amid backstop impasse

May is hoping her revised Brexit deal will be voted through by parliament after her crushing defeat by 230 votes in January.

If the vote is rejected, there will be further votes on Wednesday and Thursday that could lead to Brexit being delayed.