It’s fair to say that Theresa May’s decision to indulge in cross-party talks with Labour have not gone down well with Brexiteers in her party so far. This itself is no surprise, the talks involve two very unpalatable things for Tory MPs: working with Jeremy Corbyn, and adding a customs union to the Withdrawal Agreement (which would prevent the UK striking new trade deals).
But it appears Tory Brexiteers have not given up on unusual coalitions altogether. Last night the Tory MP Crispin Blunt was on Newsnight, and reflecting on the party’s disastrous polling ahead of the European elections, called for the Tories to ‘reinvent ourselves properly as a Brexit party’. When asked about the actual Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, which will probably also stand candidates in any general election, Blunt went one step further and suggested that the Tories should come to an ‘electoral arrangement’ with Farage to make sure Brexit happens:
‘In my judgment, we are going to have to come to an accommodation with the Brexit party. The Conservatives, as a Brexit party again, being very clear about their objectives, are almost certainly going to have to go into some kind of electoral arrangement with the Brexit party, otherwise Brexit doesn’t happen.’
“The Conservatives are almost certainly going to have to go into some kind of electoral arrangement with the Brexit Party, otherwise Brexit doesn’t happen,” says Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, but he refrains from suggesting a coalition government@CrispinBlunt | #newsnight pic.twitter.com/MPIWwMG0Pt
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) May 13, 2019
While you can picture Blunt and the ERG possibly campaigning alongside the Brexit Party in any general election, Mr S is less sure we’ll ever see Amber Rudd knocking on doors with Nigel Farage…