Theresa May suffers Commons defeat over no-deal Brexit

by Fredrick Graves January 9, 2019, 1:27
Theresa May suffers Commons defeat over no-deal Brexit

Labour MP Yvette Cooper who, along with Conservative Nicky Morgan, is behind the amendment, said Parliament must act now to rule out a no deal in the event of Mrs May's agreement being voted down next week and MPs being unable to agree any other course of action before the UK's exit in March.

MPs have fired a warning shot across the Government's bows as they backed an amendment meant to limit ministers' tax raising powers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to force her Brexit deal through parliament but lawmakers are expected to reject it.

Downing Street and Tory Brexiters played down the significance of the defeat, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "This vote is an important step to prevent a no deal Brexit".

Addressing opponents on both the Remain and Brexiteer wings of the Commons, she said: "There are some in Parliament who, despite voting in favour of holding the referendum, voting in favour of triggering Article 50 and standing on manifestos committed to delivering Brexit, now want to stop us leaving by holding another referendum".

The prime minister said Parliament will be given its say next Monday or Tuesday on the withdrawal agreement she has forged with the EU.

All three Sunderland MPs have signed a cross-party letter to Theresa May calling on the Prime Minister to rule-out a No Deal Brexit.

Debate on the deal is set to begin on Wednesday, with the vote due in the week beginning January 14.

Earlier, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd told Cabinet colleagues history would take "a dim view" of them if they allowed Britain to leave the European Union without a deal.

Asked if he could guarantee that no one would die as a result of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Hancock told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "I'm confident that we will have the unhindered supply of medicines so long as the plans that we have in place are properly enacted".

May's deal, brokered over 18 months of painstaking negotiations with the bloc's envoys, looks nearly certain to fall in parliament.

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"We really need to have a ratification of the withdrawal agreement".

Brexit minister Martin Callanan told reporters in Brussels that May's government was not going to seek an extension to the countdown despite calls from some British politicians for a brake on the chaotic and uncertain Brexit process.

May warned Conservative MPs who are planning to vote down her deal that they risked triggering "no Brexit" at all. "I think it's those kind of assurances we are happy to give".

The Dutch move is aimed at calming fears of chaos for people and businesses in the event that there is no withdrawal agreement for Britain to leave the bloc on 29 March.

After a meeting between the prime minister and MPs who signed the letter, Dame Caroline Spelman said May showed that she "understands the damage that would be caused if the United Kingdom did leave the European Union without a deal".

"That is not a decision the UK Government could take, it would require the consent of all 27 member states", he said.

MPs will resume debate on the Brexit deal on Wednesday ahead of a vote the following week.

"We will not be leaving with no deal", he said.

Any help for May to convince parliament, Loiseau said, would amount to "political assurances, but there is nothing more that we can do".

The test at the disused airfield comes as no-deal preparations are ramped up amid bitter deadlock over Brexit in Parliament.

On Monday, Brussels said the agreed Brexit deal was "the best and the only deal possible" and the European Commission was focused on watching what happened in the vote.

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