The Prime Minister’s meeting with Tory MPs in the European Research Group took place earlier this evening, but LBC’s political editor reported that Mr Rees-Mogg, the ERG chair, walked out halfway through. Mrs May had reportedly ordered Tory MPs to vote for Graham Brady’s amendment in tomorrow’s vote, which would give her a parliamentary mandate to go back and renegotiate with Brussels on the withdrawal deal. Speaking this evening on LBC, Mr Farage asked LBC’s political editor Theo Usherwood: “Is it true that Jacob Rees-Mogg walked out of that meeting with the Prime Minister?”
Mr Usherwood replied: “He left the meeting early.
“It’s a little bit unclear as to whether he walked out in fury.
“But he certainly left the meeting after only about 15 minutes, because it’s a direct challenge from the Prime Minister to his authority within the ERG group, saying that she’s going to order MPs to vote for it.
“Jacob Rees-Mogg said that he would not be backing the Brady amendment which in effect gives the power to the Prime Minister to go back and find alternative arrangements.
“From a eurosceptic’s point of view it is too vague.
“It’s not specific enough when it comes to reopening the withdrawal agreement and pushing a sunset clause on the hated, infamous backstop.”
Sir Graham Brady said he was “delighted” that the Government would whip in support of his amendment as he left the meeting.
Tory MP Simon Hart said Andrew Murrison and John Baron have agreed to drop their amendments in favour of Sir Graham Brady’s amendment, which the government agreed it would support.
Mr Hart, speaking to reporters outside the meeting of Conservative MPs, said Mrs May had said: “If we are going to have a reasonable chance of convincing Brussels of the seriousness of the views held in this Parliament we have to do more than talk about it.”