Huge Cabinet Brexit row after Amber Rudd hints at second Brexit vote as MPs head off for Christmas with NO plan B

Andrea Leadsom slapped down Amber Rudd this morning after she caused fury by saying a second referendum could break the Brexit deadlock.

The Work and Pensions boss caused uproar after she became the first serving minister to suggest there was "an argument" for a People's Vote on our EU exit again if MPs can't decide.

Ms Rudd told ITV's Peston last night: "I don't want a People's Vote, or a referendum in general, but if Parliament absolutely failed to reach a consensus I could see there would be a plausible argument for it."

The remarks came just two days after the PM said such a poll would cause "irreparable damage" to the integrity of British politics.

"I don’t understand why anybody think it is either a good idea or a practical idea," she said this morning, arguing it would take months to deliver.

Theresa May's de-facto Deputy PM David Lidington and the PM's chief of staff Gavin Barwell spent Sunday trying to deny incendiary claims they had been sounding out Labour MPs about a second referendum.

MPs blasted her last night for the suggestion that the Government could move towards backing a second vote.

Yeovil MP Marcus Fish said: "Sad to see @AmberRuddHR who is a nice person has such poor judgment. First recommending non-voting Remain Norway unicorn, now advocating second referendum. @Conservatives manifesto evidently meaningless to her.

"Not appropriate for her to be in the Government."

The news comes after:

  • Top Corbyn ally Len McCluskey dismissed calls for another Brexit vote – saying it was destroying Labour's chances of an election win
  • Michael Gove admitted that a No Deal could see a food price spike
  • And a desperate Theresa May is locked in talks with the DUP to get her Brexit deal over the line

And as MPs head off for Christmas today, the Cabinet is no nearer to agreeing a plan of what happens next if MPs reject the PM's Brexit deal in the New Year.

Instead Ms Leadsom plugged her own preferred option – to leave the EU with a series of mini-deals.

She said Britain could agree a "minimalist" withdrawal deal instead if MPs threw out the current Brexit deal.

The UK is set to leave the EU in just three months time.

Ms Leadsom told the BBC today: "A managed no deal does not mean necessarily mean that there is no withdrawal agreement at all.

"What I am looking at is trying to find an alternative that in the event we cannot agree to this deal, that there could be a further deal that looks at a more minimalist approach … that avoids a cliff edge."

Today Theresa May will meet with her Polish counterpart in Downing Street to talk Brexit and security, before giving a joint press statement.

But MPs will have their last day in the House of Commons before breaking up for their Christmas recess.

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