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LIVE: Tory Brexiteers urged to back PM's withdrawal deal ahead of crunch vote – Sky News, Sky.com

LIVE: Tory Brexiteers urged to back PM's withdrawal deal ahead of crunch vote – Sky News, Sky.com


‘I hope we will vote on my deal tonight’ – PM

Boris Johnson begins by offering his “gratitude” to Commons staff for helping let them sit on a Saturday. 

“I know it’s meant people giving up their Saturdays, breaking into their weekends,” he says – including one MP who’s postponed their 60th birthday party.

“I do hope in assembling for the purposes of a meaningful vote, that we will be allowed to have a meaningful vote this evening.”

Bercow confirms vote on Letwin amendment

And he’s accepted one on another referendum from Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.

And we’re off

Speaker John Bercow formally opens the Commons for its first Saturday sitting since 1982.

ANALYSIS: ‘Government is running up the white flag’

Our Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig says: “It is the government running up the white flag. 

“It is the government seemingly acknowledging that the Letwin amendment is going to pass. 

“That is the prediction of most MPs I’ve spoken to this morning. 

“It probably means a messy end to the day, and it means that the PM will be under pressure to ask for a short extension. Will he? He told a Scottish court he would.”

Number 10 source: Government will pull vote if Letwin amendment passes

“A vote for Letwin is a vote for delay and the whips will send everyone home,” they said.

“A vote for Letwin means MPs voting to render the entire day, that they demanded, meaningless. It would perfectly sum up this broken parliament. 

“But the government will not negotiate delay – we will continue to argue that Britain and Europe should reject delay and force MPs to choose between this deal and no deal. 

“And we will introduce the legislation on Monday so we can get Brexit done on 31 October.”

Unionists should ‘give deal a chance’

Liam Fox, who was Theresa May’s international trade secretary until she stepped down in July, says “this is the best deal that we’re going to get”.

“I hope my unionist colleagues, who I’m naturally very close to, will give this agreement a chance because the alternative really is the EU saying ‘we’ve had enough, you’re now going to leave without a deal’.”

ANALYSIS: Johnson would have rejected this deal if May proposed it

The Tory hardliners are coming onboard because their side has finally won, writes our Political Correspondent Lewis Goodall.

WATCH: Brexit secretary – deal a ‘huge boost’ for N Ireland

What ERG’s support for Brexit deal means for the vote

There were 28 Tory Brexiteers known as the “Spartans” who refused to vote for Theresa May’s deal on all three occasions it was brought to the Commons. 

As the ERG has recommended they back Boris Johnson’s deal, it suggests he is much closer to getting the numbers to win this afternoon’s vote.

Sky News Political Correspondent Rob Powell says it “doesn’t necessarily mean all of those Brexiteers will vote for it – there could still be MPs that have concerns, but I think what it will do is whittle those numbers down into single figures”.

PICTURED: PM departs Downing Street for parliament

And it’s a wave for the cameras from Boris Johnson as he heads out the door of Number 10.

Tory Brexiteer group’s steering group back deal

Some breaking news following the meeting of the Tory Brexiteer lobby known as the European Research Group.

‘Time to get Brexit done’

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has been out touring the broadcast studios this morning. 

This was his message to Sky News readers and viewers ahead of the vote this afternoon. 

“The key issue for MPs across all parties today is to listen to the voices for business. 

“The Institute of Directors, for example, has made clear it’s time to back this deal – the Bank of England governor has said this will be a major boost to our economy. 

“For many of your viewers, they will say ‘we’ve debated these issues endlessly, the PM has secured a great deal, a deal that addresses the central concerns that MPs previously had and it’s time for us to get Brexit done’.”

PICTURED: Queues growing already to watch history unfold

What’s happening today? 

In case you’ve been sheltering from the Brexit news until the key make-or-break moment, welcome. 

Boris Johnson has called a special Saturday sitting of parliament – the first since April 1982 – to vote on his new Brexit deal, signed off by Brussels yesterday.

He’s trying to press ahead and make sure Brexit happens on 31 October. 

But the vote is on a knife-edge, after the government’s confidence and supply partners the Democratic Unionist Party said it would vote against because it “siphons us off from rest of UK”.

That means the PM needs to win over those from the pool of MPs he ousted from the Conservatives, and Labour backbenchers.

Good morning

And welcome from a historic day in Westminster – the first Saturday sitting of parliament since the Falklands War, and the first vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal. 

Put the kettle on and strap yourselves in – we’re going to be bringing you every twist and turn of today’s events!

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