The former Foreign Secretary claimed a “very senior source” had told him that the PM is planning to ask the EU for a “freedom clause” that would allow Britain to exit the hated Irish backstop unilaterally.
Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, he said that if she wins that concession it will deliver “unadulterated good Brexit news” that will “defuse the booby trap” of the Irish border.
He claims the move would pave the way for a Canada-style free trade deal to be struck with the EU.
But to gain his and his fellow Brexit rebels’ support he called on the PM to publicly reveal her plan today and reveal “exactly what the Government has asked for".
He wrote: “That backstop is dead, rejected by the biggest ever parliamentary majority; and that is why I hope and pray that I am right about the intentions of No 10.
PM GEARS UP FOR CRUCIAL VOTE ON TUESDAY
“If we mean it, if we really try, I have no doubt that the EU will give us the Freedom Clause we need. So now is the time to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood and get on that trusty BAE-146 and go back to Brussels and get it.
And if the PM secures that change – a proper UK-sized perforation in the fabric of the backstop itself – I have no doubt that she will have the whole country full-throatedly behind her.”
May – whose Brexit deal was voted down by a record-breaking margin – faces another brutal Commons showdown on Tuesday.
And a powerful group of senior backbench Conservatives, led by 1922 Committee boss Sir Graham Brady, close to agreeing an amendment that could wreck the backstop once and for all.
The ammendment would curtail the unpopular Irish backstop – an insurance policy that divides the UK into two different legal regimes if there is no EU trade deal in place by 2021.
Last week a senior No10 source revealed Sir Graham’s amendment was “pretty close” to Mrs May’s thinking.
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