Cross-party MPs for a Deal say they can beat Halloween deadline

Stephen Kinnock during a press briefing held by MPs for a Deal at Portcullis House in Westminster. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Stephen Kinnock during a press briefing held by MPs for a Deal at Portcullis House in Westminster. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
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There is a “sizeable voice building across the House” to secure a Brexit deal in Parliament by 31 October, a cross-party group of MPs has said.

Striking a “pragmatic deal” for the UK to leave the EU is “not a unicorn” and could command a majority in Parliament, Labour’s Stephen Kinnock said.

Mr Kinnock was joined by more than a dozen MPs, including fellow Labour MP Caroline Flint, former Tory cabinet minister Rory Stewart, independent Nick Boles and Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb at the launch of MPs for a Deal at Westminster.

Mr Stewart, who was one of 21 Conservative rebels who had the whip withdrawn following last week’s vote to block “no deal”, said: “There is only one door out of this problem which is through a majority [for a deal] in Parliament.”

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Kinnock said this was “not about reproducing a carbon copy” of the deal which failed in three meaningful votes, adding that what emerged from cross-party talks was a “compelling proposal”.

He said: “The fact is that we are rooted in reality here. This is not a unicorn. We have something here which is the basic foundation of a perfectly pragmatic deal that we believe can command a majority in Parliament and also begin to reunite our deeply divided country and even at this 11th hour we think there is time to do it.”

Mr Kinnock said the group would back Boris Johnson in bringing a deal before Parliament by 14 October.

“MPs for a Deal wish him well in doing that and will be backing that and supporting that, because it is the only way to take the country forward,” he said.

Former Tory MP Mr Boles said: “The Government thinks that by proroguing Parliament it’s shut us down – it has not shut us down. There is a deal there that we can use as a basis, there are also some other things that have shifted.”

On Mr Johnson, he added: “He does not care about anything other than power and glory for himself, and if he concludes that the way to stay in Number 10 Downing Street is to pass a deal, he will do it.”

Ms Flint said there was a “sizeable voice building across the House” to secure a deal before 31 October, estimating 50 Labour MPs were interested. She added that 26 Labour MPs wrote to party leader Jeremy Corbyn when Theresa May stood down as PM, backing a deal before 31 October.

She said: “There has to be a willingness in all this for parties to work together if there is to be an extension for any reason.”