More than 200 MPs from across the Commons have signed a letter to the prime minister urging her to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
The letter, which has been signed by both Leave and Remain supporters, was organised by the former Conservative cabinet minister Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour’s Jack Dromey.
The group is concerned about the effect of a no-deal Brexit on the manufacturing industry.
They wrote: “The renaissance of manufacturing and its supply chains in this country, bolstered by demand for exports, has markedly improved the lives of our constituents.
“The principal market for these exports has been the European Union.
“The revival of the manufacturing industry has created innumerable jobs, not only via direct employment but also in the supply chain and ancillary services.”
They added: “Leaving the EU without a deal would cause unnecessary economic damage.
“Trading on World Trade Organisation terms would instantly make our manufacturers less competitive and make it very difficult for the industry to justify producing goods in the UK for export.
“Leaving without a deal would make continued investment in UK manufacturing a real challenge for global firms, when they have plants in other European locations.
“Without continued investment and confidence in the UK manufacturing sector, thousands of jobs across the country will be put at immediate risk.”
The letter has been backed by business organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry, manufacturers’ organisation EEF, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The chief executives of Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Rolls Royce are also supporting it and will be meeting MPs in parliament on Wednesday evening, while the prime minister has invited the 209 MPs to meet her at Downing Street on Tuesday.
It comes hours after some Tory Brexiteers appeared to be willing to risk a no-deal exit from the EU.
One told Sky News that MPs’ attitudes had recently “hardened” towards a belief leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement would be “absolutely okay”.
On Tuesday the cabinet will get an update on preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit and on Wednesday the meaningful vote debate, which was curtailed last month, will resume.
A vote is due next week, Sky News understands on 15 January, with the prime minister preparing to set out “assurances and measures” over the next few days as she tries to convince sceptical MPs.
Theresa May has warned MPs the country will be in “uncharted territory” if they vote down her deal.
These include specific measures relating to Northern Ireland, plans for a greater role for parliament in Brexit decision-making, and further assurances from the EU amid concerns about the so-called backstop arrangement for the Irish border.
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