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Tory MPs believe no deal Brexit looks likely as they prepare for big vote

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 January 2019

MPs are set to start debating the Prime Minister's Brexit deal again on Wednesday. Picture: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

MPs are set to start debating the Prime Minister's Brexit deal again on Wednesday. Picture: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

Conservative MPs from across the region are increasingly coming to the conclusion that the UK will leave the EU on March 29 without a deal being agreed.

Most will still support the Prime Minister’s deal when it is debated from Wednesday – but they accept that it is not likely to get a majority in Parliament because of opposition from keen Brexiteers in the Tory party and members of the Democratic Unionist Party.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said he was concerned about the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit and he would be supporting the Prime Minister – but it was clear no deal was becoming a more popular option in the country.

He said: “I think there are less than 100 MPs actively pursuing the ‘no deal’ option but support is certainly growing within party members. I have to think of the businesses and others who would be badly affected by this – but that is the default position and it is difficult to see how any other solution could achieve a majority in Parliament.”

Colchester MP Will Quince still has to make up his mind how to vote next Tuesday – he is still worried about the “backstop” which could see Ulster having a closer relationship with Ireland than the rest of the UK.

He said: “We’ll have to see what the Prime Minister says about the backstop.

“From a ‘no deal’ point of view, it’s clear that more people – Conservatives and residents generally – are coming around to this idea because they just want to get the issue sorted so we can go on and press ahead out of the EU.”

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said he felt the result of the vote next week would be no different to what it would have been had it taken place before Christmas.

He had been ready to support the Prime Minister’s deal – and his position hadn’t changed: “I’ve spoken to many people, Conservative members and others, and views are very polarised. Some want to come straight out. Some are very keen to stay in the EU. And there are many shades between them.

“I think it will be very difficult to find a proposal that everyone can agree on.”

He did not want to come out of the EU without a deal – but accepted that might happen because it would be unacceptable to go back on the result of the 2016 referendum.

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