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UK prime minister threatens to oust Conservative 'rebels' who vote against Brexit plan

Paul Conner

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is issuing an ultimatum to members of his own party: vote for my Brexit plan or you’re out.

The threats, reported by multiple British outlets, are coming through Conservative whips, those who are responsible for gauging and building support in parliament.

Johnson has planned to pull Britain out of the European Union, with or without an agreement with the EU, by Oct. 31.

Twelve Conservative members of parliament, dubbed “rebels” in the British press, are reportedly ready to vote against Johnson, who last week suspended parliament until Oct. 14.

"The whips are telling Conservative MPs today a very simple message - if they fail to vote with the government on Tuesday they will be destroying the government's negotiating position and handing control of parliament to [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn,” a whips’ office source told Sky News.

"Any Conservative MP who does this will have the whip withdrawn and will not stand as Conservative candidates in an election,” the source said.

A majority of Britons voted to leave the EU in June 2016, but former Prime Minister Theresa May was unable to get parliament to agree to terms of the split. When May resigned, Johnson said he would enforce the will of voters with or without a deal.

Johnson’s threat is an attempt to “purge” the Conservative party and move it “in the direction of the Brexit Party,” former Justice Secretary David Gauke told the BBC.

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Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach has said she is ready to go against Johnson on a "no deal" Brexit.

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