Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Sci-tech | By Javier West

May warns of 'uncharted territory' if MPs reject her deal — BREXIT

May warns of 'uncharted territory' if MPs reject her deal — BREXIT

Labour's Yvette Cooper has expressed her delight tonight that the House of Commons voted for an amendment she had tabled to the government's finance bill, declaring on Twitter that it "shows the determination in Parliament to come together to prevent a chaotic & damaging #NoDeal that would hit manufacturing, policing & security".

It is attached to a clause created to give the government the power to keep some areas of tax administration working in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government has committed to holding a vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal next week despite continued doubts over whether it can pass the Commons, with the vote likely to take place on next Tuesday.

Writing in the Guardian, Ms Cooper said a no-deal Brexit would cause "deep and long-lasting" damage, and the country "can't afford to play Brexit chicken and wait to see who blinks first".

Duff, who is now President of the Spinelli Group and Visiting Fellow of the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based think tank, said that amending the political declaration may not be the only way to convince MPs to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement and avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Reports this weekend suggest that Downing Street are planning to put the deal before parliament up to 30 times in an attempt to bludgeon MPs into backing it in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Theresa May was handed a humiliating defeat in parliament by Labour and Conservative MPs who organised to demonstrate the strength of parliamentary opposition to leaving the European Union with no deal.

European Union sources told Reuters that senior officials in Brussels are discussing whether and how to issue "reassurances" that might help May overcome resistance to the deal before lawmakers vote in London next week.

Britain is due to quit the body in March, but the UK Prime Minister's deal with Brussels needs to be passed by the UK Parliament.

The Brexit deal took almost 2 years to negotiate and only covers separation issues, leaving open the future relationship - but it has provoked anger on all sides in London.

'However, it is the duty of a responsible Government to continue to prepare for all eventualities and contingencies, including a possible no deal.

"Obviously she has had a lot of important discussions over the Christmas break with other European leaders and I'm sure she would want to update parliament".

In a letter published by United Kingdom newspaper the Mail on Sunday, May warned critics of her departure plan risk damaging Britain's democracy and weakening its economy by opposing her deal.

"Peeling off five of 10 Conservative Party MPs is neither here nor there, but if you get the DUP in line, May will give lots of parliamentarians an excuse to say, 'Well, OK, if they're happy with it I can't really justify going around moaning about the Irish backstop'".

May's advisers are understood to be considering an amendment making approval of the deal subject to the Government obtaining assurances that the Irish backstop, the fallback plan meant to prevent a hard border, will be temporary.

She repeatedly refused to be drawn on what will happen if, as widely predicted, Tory rebels join forces with opposition parties to vote it down.

The vote had originally been scheduled for December 10, but May postponed it, admitting in the House of Commons that it would have been "rejected by a significant margin".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told Cabinet that those considering rejecting Mrs May's agreement in the hope of securing a better deal were like swingers in their mid-50s waiting for film star Scarlett Johansson to turn up on a date.

He said support for leaving without a deal was "hardening".

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