LIAM FOX ADMITS GOVERNMENT MIGHT PULL THIRD VOTE ON THERESA MAY’S DEAL

Theresa May has asked MPs to make an “honourable compromise” as she seeks to persuade them to back her Brexit deal at the third time of asking.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the prime minister said failure to support the deal would mean “we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever”.

The Prime Minister wants to try for third time lucky this week before flying to a crunch Brussels summit on Thursday.

Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted it was now “physically impossible” for the UK to Leave on March 29 as promised.

Mrs May will ask EU chiefs to delay our departure until June, if MPs back her deal.

But Britain could have to stay for much longer unless the Commons supports her pact, she claimed.

Admitting MPs would “not definitely” get a vote this week, Mr Hammond said: “We will only bring the deal back if we are confident that enough of our colleagues and the DUP are prepared to support it so that we can get it through Parliament.

“We’re not just going to keep presenting it if we haven’t moved the dial.”

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox agreed saying whether a vote was staged “would be determined by whether we can succeed in getting that vote through the House of Commons”

It would be “difficult to justify having a vote if you knew we were going to lose it”, he added.

Mr Hammond also denied “blackmailing” MPs by threatening to release £15billion for extra spending or tax cuts only if they backed the deal.

“If we were to leave without a deal we would undoubtedly need that fiscal headroom and some more to support the economy through what would be a very difficult period,” he said.

“It’s not economic blackmail, it’s common sense.”

But he signalled he was ready to shovel more cash into Northern Ireland if the DUP supports the pact.

“We are coming up to a Spending Review and we will have to look at all budgets, including devolved, block grant budgets,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.

Earlier, the PM claimed it would be a “potent symbol of Parliament’s collective political failure” if a delay to Brexit meant the UK was forced to take part in May’s European elections almost three years after voting to Leave.

She warned that if MPs did not back her deal before Thursday’s European Council summit “we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever”.

There was a boost for the PM as former Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott called Mrs May’s pact “far from perfect”, but added: “I would rather opt for the risk of a customs union later – a risk that has diminished in recent weeks – than the very real risk of a permanent customs union now.

“The choice isn’t enviable, but the safer option is clear.”

Dr Fox also hit out at Cabinet rebels who defied the PM to help rule out a no-deal departure.

He said: “It’s not appropriate for Cabinet Ministers to threaten the Prime Minister with what they would do if they didn’t get what they wanted.”

Mr Hammond added: “I believe that loyalty – discipline – is an important part of what we are as Conservatives.”

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