Theresa May announces when MPs will vote on Brexit deal

Theresa May announces when MPs will vote on Brexit deal

The Prime Minister received support from an unexpected quarter as Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, ringleader of attempts to oust her last week, congratulated her "on winning the confidence of the Conservatives in this House last week", adding that he wanted to "assure her that she therefore commands my confidence too".

No deal, the prime minister said, would "risk the jobs, services and security of the people we serve" at the price of "turning our backs on an agreement with our neighbours that honours the referendum and provides for a smooth and orderly exit".

She said such a ballot would "further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it".

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Mr Corbyn said: "It's very clear that it's bad, unacceptable, that we should be waiting nearly a month before we have a meaningful vote on the crucial issue facing the future of this country".

However, losing such a vote would destabilise the prime minister and her government.

"If there is a second referendum there will be an extension of Article 50, which means we'll be talking for months".

She has previously suggested that a Norway-plus deal, with the United Kingdom in both a customs union and the single market, could be a "plausible" alternative.

But Downing Street insisted there are "no plans" to hold such a vote, and it is understood Mrs May rejected the prospect during a phone call with senior colleagues last week.

The Financial Times reported that Education secretary Damian Hinds had said he was open to the idea of "flushing out" the different options, which could include a no-deal Brexit, May's deal or a second referendum.

But there was confusion over efforts to secure further guarantees over the controversial Northern Irish backstop measure created to prevent a hard border with Ireland.

May assured MPs that while there had been no renegotiation of the deal, the European Union had made it clear the Irish backstop was "not a plot to trap the UK" and urged MPs to pass the agreement into law.

"The deal on the table is the best and only deal possible", he stressed.

But European council president Donald Tusk said afterwards: "I have no mandate to organise any further negotiations".

A spokesperson for the prime minister's office told Yahoo Finance UK that the £2bn was for Brexit preparation generally, rather than specifically for a no-deal Brexit.

But May remains steadfast that a so-called people's vote is not the way forward, saying "Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for".

The no-confidence vote would be in May as a leader, not in the government itself, meaning it would have no official status and would not set the ball rolling on a general election. Briefings about Corbyn's plans had taken place shortly before 3pm.

The strategy was "not in the national interest", he said, adding that "without resolution on the May plan, we are stuck, and the clock is ticking".

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