'The threat is working' - could PM's master strategy be forcing Brexiteers to fall one by one?

PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 March 2019 | UPDATED: 19:16 17 March 2019

Prime minister Theresa May. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prime minister Theresa May. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

2017 Getty Images

To most observers, it looks like a government in chaos - but one pundit has suggested Theresa May could actually be executing a master stroke which is convincingly defeating her Brexit opponents.

Even people within Theresa May’s own party have called events in Westminster this week a shambles, with the government losing another meaningful parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Ministers have also openly flouted collective cabinet responsibility to vote against her.

But now the House of Commons has voted to take a no deal Brexit off the table, meaning MPs either have to vote for her deal or risk Britain not withdrawing on March 29.

That means many opponents such as Esther McVey say they will now support a deal they previously opposed.

McVey told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I still believe Theresa May’s deal is a bad deal,” but said: “The choice is between this deal, a bad deal, or no Brexit whatsoever.

“We’re going to have to hold our noses and vote for it.”

And speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Conservative political pundit Amanda Platell rubbished predictions that May would be out of a job within days - believing that she might even still be in post by Christmas.

“She’s just basically saying you either back my deal or you lay open the trap that it will be delayed eternally,” Platell said.

Asked if “that threat is working” by Marr, Platell said: “It is completely working.

“You’ve got ministers saying we’re going to hold our nose - the deal stinks but the alternative is so much worse.”

Marr himself said May was “grinding the opponents of her deal harder and harder”, adding: “They are falling one by one by one, aren’t they?”

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