Theresa May loses voice and vote

Nellie Chapman
March 16, 2019

MPs must reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal when it is put to a vote on Tuesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said late on Monday.

But despite the growth in support for her deal, Conservative Home pointed out that 56% of respondents are still opposed to the revised deal.

In a later exchange, with the Conservative pro-Brexit MP Peter Bone, May expressed her scepticism about the so-called Malthouse compromise, outlined in an amendment to Wednesday's motion, which calls for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement, but with a form of transition period to lessen the impact of no deal.

Numerous EU leaders expressed their dismay after MPs voted by 391 to 242 votes to reject Mrs May's deal.

But Downing Street sources denied a suggestion circulating at Westminster that the Prime Minister "went batshit" at the rebels during the Cabinet meeting.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has signalled his backing for a cross-party consensus over Brexit, despite the PM still appearing to support her own deal.

Its chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the European Union "cannot go any further" in trying to persuade MPs to back the agreed terms of exit and the United Kingdom had to break the impasse.

Tonight's parliamentary vote sees Mr Boles join forces with MPs including Conservative MP Oliver Letwin, Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn, plus Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna of the Independent Group of MPs.

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In response, May said only that there would be "hard choices" for MPs, both on the vote over no deal, and if that is ruled out, a vote on Thursday over whether to extend article 50.

Mr Corbyn countered by saying her Brexit strategy is "in tatters" and her deal is "dead", before criticising Mrs May for having "refused to listen".

"I believe we have a good deal".

Some of her colleagues around the Cabinet table think it shows she has to tack to a closer deal with the EU. She won the vote by 412 to 202.

Some of them believe it's time now to go hell-for-leather to leave without an overarching deal but move to make as much preparation as possible, and fast.

Amid reports Brexiteer ministers have been granted a free vote on this proposal, Tory MP Steve Baker told BBC News the plan - which would see Brexit delayed until 22 May - was "eminently reasonable".

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said the current impasse "can only be solved in the UK" and MPs must decide what they want rather than what they don't.

Ahead of the no-deal Commons vote, the government announced that most imports into the United Kingdom would not attract a tariff in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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