Brexit withdrawal vote in British Parliament now set for January 15

09 January, 2019, 23:57 | Author: Darnell Taylor
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In December, Mrs May postponed the crucial vote because it appeared here government would be defeated - something which would have plunged the Brexit process into further crisis.

308 MPs voted for - compared to 297 MPs who voted against - an amendment made by Remainer Tory MP Dominic Grieve, requiring the Government to set out its alternative suggestion no more than three days after a defeat in the "meaningful vote". And I think people are beginning to realise that it's the Prime Minister's deal or there may not be a Brexit'.

Responding to May's comments, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn called on May to "do the right thing" and call a public vote if she fails to get her divorce deal through parliament. Lawmakers would have the power to amend that plan.

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.

The government previously had 21 days to report back to Parliament.

It was the second setback in as many days for the prime minister, after MPs voted late Tuesday to deny the government certain taxation powers in a no-deal scenario - another attempt to avoid such an outcome.

On Tuesday, legislators backed a motion prohibiting ministers from spending on preparations to leave the European Union without a deal unless authorised by parliament. But the bloc refuses to reopen the agreement, and opposition to the negotiated deal remains strong among British lawmakers. "These discussions have shown that further clarification over the backstop is possible and those talks will continue over the next few days", May said. "She failed. Isn't the Prime Minister bringing back exactly the same deal she admitted would be defeated four weeks ago?"

Amid the political stalemate, pro-Brexit members of Parliament are urging the government to ramp up preparations for leaving the European Union without a deal.

Despite the impasse over Brexit in parliament, Bercow's move to allow the amendment sparked utter fury from both Tory hard Brexiteers and those backing May and her deal.

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"They [EU leaders] have been pretty clear that negotiations have come to an end", Gostynska-Jakubowska told Al Jazeera.

So at that point MPs could - at last, some would say - vote on what form of Brexit or no-Brexit (via a referendum) they would support.

"We're all focused in the government on winning parliamentary support in the vote that's coming up next week", he told reporters as he arrived at the meeting in Brussels.

Standoff: Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray, left, and a pro-Brexit supporter outside the Houses of Parliament.

But concerns are mounting that May will be unable to push the deal through a deeply divided British parliament.

An EU diplomat told AFP on Tuesday that "we are convinced that Theresa May will request a postponement after the agreement is rejected in the British parliament".

McDonald's statement is consistent with the message given by France's Europe minister, Nathalie Loiseau, who said on Tuesday that "there's nothing more [the EU] can do" than restate its position that the backstop would only be used as a last resort and until a new trade deal came into force.

Mr Varadkar said the people of Northern Ireland want to avoid a hard border which the current agreement provides for and said ratification for that deal is being sought now.

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