NATIONAL: Senior Conservatives urge party rebels to back PM in Brexit vote

TWO senior Conservatives from the Leave and Remain wings of the party have come together to urge Tory MPs to back Theresa May in a series of crunch Commons votes on Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Simon Dawson/PA Wire.
Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Simon Dawson/PA Wire.

Former home secretary Amber Rudd, a leading Remain supporter, and ex-party leader Iain Duncan Smith, a long-standing Brexiteer, warned defeat could lead to the fall of the government.

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, the pair wrote: ‘We cannot allow ourselves to become divided and risk losing the precious chance to go on implementing policies that transform lives.’

The two also warned that Labour would be quick to exploit any setback for the government, saying ‘Jeremy Corbyn will do everything he can to stop us.

‘That includes cynically trying to frustrate the Brexit process for his own political ends, as he will try to do next week when the Commons votes again on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

‘So it behoves us all to demonstrate discipline and unity of purpose in support of the Prime Minister.’

Ministers - who have accepted just one of the 15 amendments to legislation - are confident of winning most of the votes when the bill returns to the Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday.