Labour MPs unlikely to back May’s withdrawal bill, McDonnell claims

Labour MPs who back Theresa May’s exit deal with the EU are likely to be in the low single figures, John McDonnell has claimed.

Speaking at a Reuters Live event the Shadow Chancellor said he has had talks with a “a block of MPs” who are worried about facilitating a no deal and who said they are going to “stick with” the Labour leadership.

He added that the Finance Bill amendments accepted by the government last night “were not particularly significant” but proved that May is in office but not power.

The British Government are likely to stage a vote on the Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons before Christmas, and if every obstacle is cleared, the deal would come into effect in time for the UK’s departure on March 29 2019.

It is expected the debate will stretch over several days and will end in a meaningful vote, possibly in early December, before the next scheduled European Council summit on December 13.

But with the support of the DUP wavering and many of her own MPs deserting her May will be looking to Labour rebels to get the vote through parliament.

As Adam Payne noted on Twitter today, if only a handful of politicians from the opposition bench give her their backing it could be “very bad news for 10 Downing St”.

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