Theresa May suffers another Commons Brexit defeat

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The Prime Minister offered MPs new assurances that Parliament will be able to exercise control over the controversial European Union "backstop" if they back her Brexit deal in a crunch vote next week.

Nevertheless the vote will be seen as another blow to Mrs May's authority as she struggles to win support for her Withdrawal Agreement.

Rather than warming to Mrs May's deal since then, MPs have tried to wrest control of Brexit from the Government and put it in the hands of Parliament.

But he rejected the idea of holding a series of votes to find out what kind of Brexit MPs would support, as some have suggested, claiming there was no consensus for any alternative to Mrs May's plan.

The vote came hard on the heels of last 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.

There were unusual scenes as the speaker, John Bercow, accepted an amendment that forces the May government to come up with a Plan B within three days of the withdrawal agreement being voted down on January 15.


So if May came back with an alternative plan, that could be amended by MPs, giving parliament far more scope in setting the direction.

Business secretary and Kent MP Greg Clark says uncertainty over Brexit is causing mounting alarm amongst companies and investors in the UK.

Current rules dictate that Mrs May would have to make a statement within 21 days on the Government's plan of action, with a Commons vote in the following seven days.

May is likely to survive a vote of no confidence in the country as both remain and leave supporting Conservative MPs, as well as the Democratic Unionist Party, are likely to rally around the government.

"We need to come together, we need to do a deal".

The Conservative party's spokesperson was less optimistic.

May has refused publicly to consider an alternative plan, battling instead to shore up political support for the withdrawal agreement struck between Britain and the European Union after months of painstaking negotiations.


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.

"These discussions have shown that further clarification over the backstop is possible and those talks will continue over the next few days".

The main opposition Labour Party gave its closest indication so far on Wednesday when Barry Gardiner, the party's shadow worldwide trade secretary, said that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could table a vote of no confidence in May's government if, as now widely expected, her Brexit deal is rejected by MPs on Tuesday.

Uphill battle: UK Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons to face Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.

The British government was bringing its little-loved Brexit deal back to Parliament on Wednesday, a month after postponing a vote on the agreement to stave off near-certain defeat.

"That is why we truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and, in fact, that is the wish of the whole world".

"Japan is in total support of the draft withdrawal agreement worked out between the European Union and Prime Minister May which provides for transition to ensure legal stability for businesses that have invested into this country", he said.


"We've put a good deal on the table that protects job and security", May said, adding that there would be no general election in the event that her plan is rebuffed.

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