Brexit: May suffers second defeat on Brexit amendment

EU Withdrawal Agreement what could happen

If Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement deal is rejected by MPs in a crunch vote next Tuesday, the Government will have just three sitting days - rather than the previously outlined three weeks - to come back to Parliament with alternative proposals.

And Downing Street said it was "very surprised" by the Speaker's decision, as it had been advised the motion setting out the timeline for events was unamendable.

May said more details of assurances she had won, along with the results of continuing talks, would be given during the Brexit bill debate.

The setback for the PM came as MPs started five days of debate on the withdrawal agreement with the European Union, and the framework for future relations, ahead of the meaningful vote next Tuesday.

It could also open the door to alternatives, such as a referendum.

The vote came hard on the heels of Tuesday night's Commons defeat for the Government on a motion meant to limit its powers to change taxes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

May's spokesman said the government's advice was that parliament could not change its so-called business motion which set out the procedure for the Brexit vote, but played down the impact of the vote for its overall plans.

Among those voting against were 17 Conservatives, including former ministers Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah and Jo Johnson who want to see another referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom should leave or not.

He urged MPs from across to House to back the motion of no confidence in the Government which Labour would table "at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success".

"Brexit paralysis potentially leading to no Brexit is something I think would be incredibly damaging for the long-term future of this country".

Asked whether she agreed with Mr Hunt that the United Kingdom can thrive after a no-deal Brexit, Ms Rudd told Today: "This is a strong and great country, we will find a way to succeed, but I do not think that no deal would be good for this country and I'm committed to making sure we find an alternative".




Number 10 confirmed ministers would "consider very seriously" moves by Labour MPs to safeguard workers' rights after Brexit in an attempt to win support for her deal, if the backbench amendment was selected by the Speaker.

'I realise there are a few of my colleagues who believe that if the government's deal is rejected we should simply do nothing and leave the European Union on March 29 with no deal at all and with all, to my mind, the calamitous consequences that would follow on from it, ' he told the BBC.

Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Mr Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader, was asked directly about what the party's stance would be if a general election was to be called.

"I think that is something that we would regret for many, many generations".

Crispin Blunt was among those to question the Speaker's impartiality, saying many will have the "unshakeable conviction that the referee is no longer neutral".

In the Commons, Tory anger was directed at the Speaker, who many MPs have long suspected is unduly sympathetic to the Remain cause.

"Moving into office at a period right up against the clock, there would need to be time for that negotiation", Corbyn said.

Mr Bercow said he had consulted privately with the clerk and other officials, but did not confirm his decision was taken with agreement from Sir David.

"I think parliament is very committed to try to stop no-deal, but I think we have to recognise that there is a deal on the table, it does broadly deliver the Brexit people voted for, and if we don't find a way to get this through, we are taking some very big risks".

Mr Hunt's words were seen as a way to win over hardline Brexiteers who are not convinced by Mrs May's deal.

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