UK Prime Minister Theresa May has finally hinted at a second Brexit referendum and admitted defeat on a third meaningful vote for her deal in a furious exchange with opposition MPs in the House of Commons.
May was speaking, for the first time, since she was in Brussels last week and the European Union admitted a Brexit delay.
May says she is ‘sceptical’ about whether allowing MPs indicative votes will produce decision.
May says the government is opposed to the Letwin amendment.
She says the government remains committed to trying to see if a Commons consensus can be reached if her deal is not passed.
But she says she is “sceptical” of this process. In the past when this procedure has been tried, it has produced contradictory conclusions, or no conclusions at all.
With negotiations deadlocked in Brussels and the clock running down, UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May told the Commons no deal would only happen with ‘explicit consent’ and it will get a chance to extend Article 50 within a fortnight.
The climbdown came as Mrs May scrambles to avert mass resignations by ministers who have been vowing to rule out no deal in crunch votes tomorrow. The concession leaves Tory hardliners with a stark choice of either backing Mrs May’s plan in the next showdown, which will happen by March 12, or accepting an almost inevitable delay to the UK’s departure. Under the new timetable, a vote effectively ruling out no deal would then be staged on March 13, and a vote on an extension the following day – March 14.
Anna Soubry, the former Tory who now sits as an Independent Group MP, says we are seeing can-kicking, at the same time as fudge is being created. Soubry accues Prime Minister May of putting party interest first.
She asks May to confirm that no deal remains on the table.
Theresa May sets out to MPs her plan B following the Commons defeat of her Brexit plan.
May says the government wants to accept the John Mann amendment guaranteeing workers’ rights after Brexit. It will consider legislating for this.
Turning to EU nationals, May says the government will not charge the proposed fee for EU nationals who apply for settled status so they can stay in the UK. It was to be £65 for adults and £32.50 for under-16s.
In London ist alles wieder offen: Theresa May ist mit ihrem Abkommen grandios gescheitert. Nur 202 Abgeordnete stimmten für den Deal, 432 dagegen. Wie es jetzt weiter geht mit dem Brexit – auf die Frage hat wohl derzeit niemand eine Antwort. An einen Rücktritt denkt die britische Premierministerin trotz historischer Niederlage offensichtlich nicht. Auch Labours Misstrauensvotum hat wohl kaum Chancen. Die Forderungen nach einem zweiten Referendum werden lauter.
For the second time in as many months, the House of Commons begins a debate later today on the Brexit deal agreed between the British government and the EU 27 member states.
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement covers the terms of the UK’s exit and the framework of its future relations with the EU.
The debate will be opened by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and closed by Prime Minister Theresa May next Tuesday.
Mrs May remains hopeful that some further assurances can be offered by the EU to assuage the concerns of many MPs who dislike the deal and have publicly said they will vote against it.
In December, Mrs May postponed the crucial vote because it appeared her government would be defeated – something which would have plunged the Brexit process into further crisis.
While the current numbers suggest Mrs May will still lose the vote, her government has said it will not be postponed a second time and will go ahead next Tuesday evening.
Yesterday, 20 Conservative MPs joined opposition parties in backing a cross-party amendment to the Finance Bill intended to limit the government’s powers to make tax changes in the event of no-deal.
Downing Street insisted the amendment – tabled by senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan – was no more than an “inconvenience” which would not prevent the government collecting taxes.
But supporters said the vote – of 303 to 296 – showed there was now a clear majority of MPs who would oppose a no-deal if Mrs May cannot, as many expect, win the backing of the Commons for her agreement.