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Tory Eurosceptic 'Spartans' were torn over whether to back Boris Johnson's Brexit deal last night – with some seeking assurances that it could still allow a No Deal departure next year.
Members of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs will meet at Westminster this morning to decide whether to support the agreement before today's crunch vote in the Commons.
Night - Spartan - MPs - Mr - Johnson
As of last night, just 12 of the 28 Spartan MPs had publicly backed Mr Johnson's deal.
Although none had said they would oppose it, a senior Eurosceptic predicted that a significant hardcore were likely to prove impossible to persuade.
Mark - Francois - Deputy - Chairman - European
Mark Francois, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group, was among those called in to see the Prime Minister yesterday. He said he still had 'some concerns' about specifics of the agreement.
But John Baron, one of 28 'Spartan' MPs who voted against Theresa May's deal three times, said the terms of the new deal suggested that the UK could still end up with a No Deal Brexit when the transition period finishes in December 2020.
'We - Assurances - Devil - Detail - Reason
He said: 'We're seeking assurances, the devil is in the detail still, but the reason I am inclined to vote for this one is very simple. Theresa May's backstop could have had us locked into that arrangement...
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