It comes as Theresa May today warns that unless Parliament can get a deal over the line in the next week then there is a strong possibility of Brexit not happening at all. With talks between Mrs May and Jeremy Corbyn’s teams ongoing it is understood that yesterday SAT saw progress towards an agreement. But the Sunday Express has learnt that former Vote Leave ground teams have been asked to start getting their operations together again in preparation of a second vote by former Vote Leave officials.
One of the teams to set up again was known as “the forlorn hope” because it was responsible for the campaign in Westminster and Kensington, some of the strongest Remain areas.
Meanwhile claims have been made that the George Soros backed Remainer lead campaign group, Best for Britain is building up a massive campaign warchest.
Labour confirmed last night that it would insist Britain remained permanently in a customs union. This would leave it unable to strike free trade deals around the world.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the only Conservative red line is to end freedom of movement – leaving the door open to a second referendum and a deal over a customs union.
But the talks have sparked outright revolt in the Tory party.
A senior cabinet minister told the Sunday Express that either a customs union deal with Mr Corbyn or a second referendum would be “unacceptable” adding that “there will be many resignations from the government.”
Another longstanding cabinet minister who is opposed to a referendum said that the government is trying to offer a free vote on another public poll on EU membership as a solution.
Theresa May warns there is a strong possibility of Brexit not happening at all
Asked if this was a resignation matter, the minister said there was “no point” because Mrs May has lost control of her government.
The minister said: “No point resigning. Better to stay and just say and do what you want.”
Within three days last week around 100 Tory MPs put in letters to 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady saying they had no confidence in Mrs May.
While party rules mean that cannot be a formal vote of confidence until November, a year after the last one, Sir Graham is expected to urge the Prime Minister to quit last week.
One former cabinet minister, who sent in a letter, told the Sunday Express: “If she [the prime minister] truly cares about the Conservative Party and the country as she claims then she will just do the decent thing and go.
“The longer she stays on the more damage she is doing to both Britain and the Conservatives. She just has to go.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that a letter for more than 100 Conservative association chairmen has been sent to chairman Brandon Lewis demanding that Britain leaves the EU with no deal and Mrs May goes.
But Government insiders believe that Britain is heading to a long extension, even with an agreement over a deal with Labour.
Chancellor Philip Hammond
A senior Government source said: “The chances of a second referendum or revocation are rapidly increasing unless MPs are willing to compromise.
“The reason we have got here is because MPs have refused to compromise.
“The problem is that brexit is slipping through our fingers. We have had three years to do this and voters are going to be very angry and say a plague on all your houses.”
It is understood that the price of a long extension from the EU will be a demand to hold a second referendum on membership while Labour is pushing for one too.
In a statement today, Mrs May confirmed that a no Brexit is now a strong possibility with Parliament set to pass a Bill taking no deal off the table by Tuesday.
She said: “Because Parliament has made clear it will stop the UK leaving without a deal, we now have a stark choice: leave the European Union with a deal or do not leave at all.
“My answer to that is clear: we must deliver Brexit and to do so we must agree a deal. If we cannot secure a majority among Conservative and DUP MPs we have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons.
“The fact is that on Brexit there are areas where the two main parties agree: we both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
The Labour position is a customs union with the European Union
She added: “The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all. It would mean letting the Brexit the British people voted for slip through our fingers. I will not stand for that. It is essential we deliver what people voted for and to do that we need to get a deal over the line.”
Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted he wanted Britain to be in a customs unions with the EU and said he was waiting for the Government to move its “red lines”.
He said: “The Labour position is a customs union with the European Union, access to European markets and the retention of regulations for environment, consumers, and workplace rights as a base on which we can build – a dynamic relationship which means we can never fall below them.”
Eighty of his MPs have written a letter demanding he secures a guarantee of a second referendum in any Brexit deal he reaches with Theresa May.
Last night senior Tory Brexiteers said they believe that a long extension is now the only way to save Brexit.
Former Brexit minister David Jones said: “Given where we are with a long extension we would be able to avoid being trapped with Mrs May’s deal and could negotiate an agreement that works for Britain.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen added: “With a long extension we could get in a new leader and have somebody leading the country who was able to get a good deal.”
But education minister Nadhim Zahawi warned that accepting a lengthy delay to Brexit would be disastrous for the Tory party.
He said: “It would be, I think, a suicide note of the Conservative Party if we had to fight the European elections.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid last night defended the issuing of British passports without the words European Union on the front cover despite the Brexit delay.
The burgundy passports were introduced from March 30, the day after Britain was expected to leave the EU.
Mr Javid said the move was “sensible and efficient” because some passport centres had run out of the previous design.
Some documents including the words European Union will continue to be issued while the remaining stock is used up.
But those applying for a new travel document will not be able to choose between the two.
Mr Javid said: “It’s true that some passport centres have run through their stock of UK passports with EU headers, and have started transitioning to those without. It’s sensible and efficient management.”