Theresa May suffers major Commons defeat as MPs begin Brexit debate

11 January, 2019, 10:19 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau in conversation with compatriot Michel Barnier the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator More

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said that "not one single dot or comma has changed" since December's aborted vote. This LBC listener was keen to know.

"It is a warning to the Government not to drift into No Deal at the end of March by accident or through brinkmanship", she said.

Watch what happened next above.

According to Francis Elliott, Political Editor at the Times, May is negotiating with small groups of Labour MPs and is understood to have seen Gareth Snell, Lisa Nandy, Jon Cruddas, Caroline Flint and John Mann.

Mrs May retorted: "The only way to avoid no-deal is to vote for the deal".

Furious scenes erupted in the Commons on Wednesday after Mr Bercow selected an amendment from Tory former minister Dominic Grieve which attempts to speed up the process for the Government to reveal what it will do next if Theresa May's Brexit deal is rejected.

Today's defeat is yet another humiliating blow for Theresa May's government, who yesterday became the first ruling party in 41 years to be defeated on a Finance Bill vote after an amendment put forward by Labour MP Yvette Cooper which gives Parliament more say over a No Deal Brexit was passed by MPs.

Mrs May has so far refused to retreat from her deal, which envisages close trading ties with the European Union, but without any say on policy as Britain has now, after leaving on March 29.

She is pressing ahead with a vote that she looks set to lose, after failing to win over her nominal Northern Irish allies.

It is likely to prompt an angry response in Brussels, which has repeatedly rejected efforts to put a time limit on the backstop, meant to avoid a hard border in Ireland if no wider trade deal has been agreed.


The Labour leader will argue that a government with a new mandate could negotiate a better withdrawal deal as he reiterates his call for another election.

He added: "The default is in law that unless we have a deal, then we will fall into no-deal".

Under the EU's backstop proposal, Northern Ireland would have stayed in the single market and customs union while the rest of the United Kingdom withdraws, while Mrs May wanted Northern Ireland treated the same as the rest of the UK.

It comes amid Tory expectations of a Commons defeat for May's withdrawal deal in the vote on Tuesday.

Speaking to party supporters in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Mr Corbyn said a general election was the most "practical" and "democratic" way to "break the deadlock" in Parliament over Brexit.

"What it now must do is hand the decision back to the people", Murray said.

With the likelihood of a disruptive "no-deal" Brexit rising, the European Union is looking at how Brexit might be postponed, and pro-EU campaigners are testing ways Britain could hold another referendum after voters narrowly backed leaving in 2016.

We can leave the European Union under the terms of some version of the prime minister's bad deal or we can keep all our rights, powers, influence and op-outs in our current deal as full members of the EU. "That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in parliament to prevent no deal", Corbyn said, cited by the Guardian.

And Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said after talks with Mrs May that the "whole world" hoped a no-deal Brexit would be avoided. Brexit supporters are anxious that there is no mechanism for Britain to unilaterally withdraw, meaning it could end up indefinitely stuck in the union, hampering its ability to strike deals with the rest of the world.

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