Remainer 'rebel alliance grows to 40 Tory MPs' as No10 blames Philip Hammond ...

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A Remainer 'rebel alliance' of Tory backbenchers opposed to a No Deal Brexit has grown to as many as 40 MPs as Downing Street blamed the ring leaders for leaking a bombshell contingency planning document. 

The leak of Operation Yellowhammer which details the food, medicine and fuel shortages which could arise after a chaotic split from the EU on October 31 has sparked an all-out Tory civil war. 

Number 10 sources believe Mr Hammond or another former minister leaked the document out of revenge and in order to influence Brexit talks. 

The government has insisted the doomsday dossier is out of date but the wind is now in the sails of the anti-No Deal Tory group known in Westminster as the 'Gauke-ward squad'. 

A letter sent by Mr Hammond to Boris Johnson last week was signed by 21 Tory Europhile MPs. 

But their numbers have now swelled to up to 40, according to The Telegraph, in a revelation likely to cause alarm in Number 10. 

The leak of the document and the growing size of the anti-No Deal grouping on the government benches came just days before Mr Johnson is due to undertake a whirlwind trip to Berlin and Paris for Brexit talks. 

Mr Johnson will meet Angela Merkel on Wednesday and Emmanuel Macron on Thursday when he will tell them that the UK is serious about leaving the EU with or without a deal on October 31. 

However, a growing rebellion at home - and within his own Conservative Party - is likely to be the elephant in the room during discussions.  

Those meetings will come before the PM heads to Biarritz in France at the weekend for a G7 summit and his first face to face meeting with Donald

The Tory meltdown came as Jeremy Corbyn will today use a speech to accuse Mr Johnson of plotting a ' Deal Brexit' as he signals Labour's preparedness for an early general election. 

Meanwhile, senior Tories have called on Mr Johnson to call a snap poll before MPs have the chance to defeat him in a vote of no confidence. 

Boris Johnson has vowed that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, but a leaked government document warns of the dire fallout from a No Deal Brexit

Boris Johnson has vowed that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, but a leaked government document warns of the dire

A group of Tory MPs opposed to a No Deal Brexit and led by former chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured in April, has now grown to as many as 40 people

A group of Tory MPs opposed to a No Deal Brexit and led by former chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured in April, has now grown to as many as 40 people

The growing size of the Tory 'rebel alliance' means Mr Johnson is almost guaranteed to lose any vote in the Commons on stopping a No Deal Brexit. 

That means the PM will be keen to avoid any sort of parliamentary showdown which could give the rebels the chance to make their move - but such a moment appears inevitable at some point before the Halloween deadline. 

Reports this morning suggest the group has grown substantially from the 21 MPs who signed last week's letter with at least 10 new names added and potentially another seven on top of that. 

However, many of the new members do not want their names to be made public for fear of Downing Street trying to pick them off. 

One source said: 'As things go on we will get a better idea of numbers. It should not come as any surprise that Number 10 is trying to pick people off that group on the basis that the strategy is not to go to No Deal. There are lots of back-channel conversations.'

The swelling of the Remainer ranks came after a Tory civil war exploded on Sunday night as Downing Street accused bitter ex-ministers of leaking dire No Deal warnings to sabotage Mr Johnson's talks with Brussels.

Ahead of his debut on the world stage this week, a bombshell dossier revealed official predictions of food, fuel and medicine shortages if the Prime Minister fails to reach an agreement with the EU.

The document, under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, also warned of three months of chaos at ports, clashes with EU fishing vessels and a crisis for social care.

Downing Street claimed the forecasts were the work of the previous administration and out of date, showing a worst-case scenario.

One Number 10 source blamed former frontbenchers led by Mr Hammond for the leak. 

The source said the dossier, apparently written by Cabinet Office officials, was 'from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available'.

'It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders,' the source added.

Michael Gove, who is responsible for No Deal planning, insisted preparations had been ramped up since Mr Johnson took office

Michael Gove, who is responsible for No Deal planning, insisted preparations had been ramped up since Mr Johnson took office

The row came days after Mr Hammond, the former chancellor, broke his silence with an interview claiming that a No Deal Brexit would be just as much of a 'betrayal' as not leaving. 

A spokesman for Mr Hammond declined to comment on whether he was behind the leak.

Remain campaigner: Cabinet know they can't shut down Parliament 

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has claimed the Government 'unequivocally' accepts that it cannot close down Parliament to force No Deal.

The businesswoman, who last month wrote to Boris Johnson arguing any such move 'would be an abuse of his powers' and result in legal action, said she had been reassured Parliament would not be suspended.

Mrs Miller previously went to court and won the right for Parliament to give its consent ahead of the triggering of Article 50 to begin the Brexit process. She told Sky News: 'What they have said is unequivocally they accept that to close down Parliament, to bypass them in terms of Brexit – stopping a No Deal Brexit in particular – is illegal.

'So without having to go to court they've conceded we've basically called their bluff.'

But Mrs Miller said she would be seeking further reassurance that MPs would be able to pass legislation to stop a No Deal Brexit.

She said: 'Parliament has to find a way – instruments and ways – of ensuring that they can pass that legislation, [the] scrutinising [of] which is what the Government letter has confirmed – that Parliament will be able to scrutinise and examine all options when it comes to exiting. It's not the same as giving them the ability to pass legislation.

'And because we already have in legislation that October 31 is our exit, they need to pass other legislation to prevent No Deal or to change that date after an extension.'

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng also told Sky News: 'We are not talking about proroguing Parliament.' 

Mr Johnson will meet Ms Merkel and Mr Macron this week before attending the G7. 

He is expected to tell his European counterparts that he is deadly serious about his 'do or die' commitment to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 – with or without a deal. 

He will use the trips to make the case that Parliament 'will not and cannot' cancel the result of the 2016 referendum.

The leak of Operation Yellowhammer is likely to hang over the meetings.  

The government documents leaked to the Sunday Times warned the country will face three months of chaos at ports under a No Deal Brexit, as well as a return of a hard border in Ireland.  

According to the papers, petrol import tariffs would 'inadvertently' lead to the closure of two oil refineries, while

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