United Kingdom parliament inflicts fresh defeat on PM May over Brexit

10 January, 2019, 04:19 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Theresa May tells MPs 'see you next Tuesday' as Brexit vote confirmed

There were turbulent scenes in Parliament when some in May's Conservative Party accused the speaker of bias.

But her spokesman added: "If that were not to take place. we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, foreground, speaks, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Jan. 9, 2019.

The government lost the amendment to a business motion, which set out the procedure for the Brexit vote, by 11 votes with 297 MPs voting with them and 308 against.

May insists Britain will leave the European Union in March whatever happens, but there is growing talk of delaying the two-year Article 50 exit process to give her some breathing space to get her deal agreed.

May, who is struggling to win approval for her Brexit plan, previously had 21 days to report back to the Commons in the event of a defeat next Tuesday.

"She will lose Tuesday's vote and that will confirm Parliament is now running things".

That deal includes a 585-page withdrawal agreement that outlines the terms of Britain's departure, and a 26-page declaration that sets out a framework for future negotiations on a broad agreement covering trade and a host of other issues.

The government initially felt it had seen off the latest "guerilla warfare" plot from the rebels, because it thought the amendment tabled by former cabinet minister Dominic Grieve would not be allowed under Commons rules.

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But he says having failed, Trump is now "unable to convince Congress or the American people to foot the bill". The debate over funding for the barrier has been at the center of a partial federal government shutdown.

The move essentially means that control over Brexit has begun to shift from the Prime Minister to MPs.

Hinting at one path of action MPs could try and force the prime minister down, Sir Keir told MPs: "There is a question of the extension of article 50, which may well be inevitable now, given the position that we are in, but of course we can only seek it, because the other 27 [EU member states] have to agree".

May called off the December vote at the last minute when it became clear that a majority of lawmakers - from the governing Conservatives as well as opposition parties - opposed the deal, a compromise that has left both pro-European and pro-Brexit politicians unhappy.

That suggestion did little to win over the DUP.

The government also offered a concession to the Democratic Unionist Party, saying Northern Ireland would have "a strong role" in any decision between triggering the backstop or extending a transition period if a future relationship with the European Union is not in place by December 2020.

But the DUP, which is propping up Mrs May's minority government through a confidence and supply agreement, immediately rejected the offer.

UK Brexit minister Martin Callanan ruled out that prospect and said May would update MPs on Wednesday about the assurances over the backstop she is seeking from the EU. That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in Parliament to prevent 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.

Some investors and major banks believe May's deal will be defeated on Tuesday but that eventually it will be approved.

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