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Sean O'Grady Boris says he wants no deal. But he’ll just give us more of the same

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Wouldn’t it be funny if, after months of trauma, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt just ended up resuscitating Theresa May’s Brexit deal? I mean, yes, it’s a national tragedy, but it has a certain irony attached to it.

As all agree, the one thing that might – might – conceivably secure Britain a new, better deal would be a credible threat of no deal. Boris Johnson and, more equivocally, Jeremy Hunt want it put it back on the table. Can they?

No. Enter Tobias Ellwood. He may have a name that sounds like he’s a character out of Poldark, but is in fact a Tory MP (one of the more level-headed ones), and a junior defence minister. He says that about a dozen of his colleagues are prepared to bring down the “new” government in an early vote of no confidence – in order to force a Johnson/Hunt administration to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Ellwood backed Rory Stewart in the earlier stages of the leadership election, so we can guess who is behind the threat. They mean it.

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It merely confirms what we’ve long known: the Commons won’t wear no deal and will find a way to block it, up to and including a no confidence motion backed by a phalanx of well-disciplined and smart rebel Tory MPs. Not even Anna Soubry (pre-defection) and Dominic Grieve voted against their own government, or even explicitly threatened to do so. Ellwood’s words have upped the ante on that side of the House. Big........

© Independent