Brexit Rebels Told to Back PM May or Face National Election

(From Reuters)

Pro-European Union rebels were threatened with a general election this summer if they defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans on customs, a lawmaker said on Wednesday, threatening to widen rifts in the PM’s party.

Conservative whips, who enforce discipline in the party, threatened to call a confidence vote that could bring down the government before a crucial vote on Tuesday on customs, one lawmaker told Reuters. Rebel lawmaker Anna Soubry told BBC radio that the prospect of a national election was also raised.

“It was an appalling spectacle,” Soubry told BBC Radio 4, adding she had told a senior whip to “bring it on”.

“These nonsenses of threatening general elections, and votes of confidence in the prime minister … bring it on, because I shall be the first in the queue to give my vote of full confidence in the prime minister,” Soubry said. “Problem is, I don’t think she’s in charge any more.”

Conservative lawmakers fear an election, and the possible victory of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Earlier this month, his Labour Party took a lead in the polls.

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