Sunday, 19 January, 2020

British MPs force May's hand as Brexit vote looms

News Image British MPs force May's hand as Brexit vote looms
Sandy Nunez | 09 January, 2019, 23:58

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She tweeted: "More than anything this is not just overturning something the House accepted in a business motion, it is overturning the EUWA and procedure voted on and approved in both Houses with much debate and scrutiny, and indeed which Grieve accepted on floor of the House".

The prime minister has already postponed the vote once - in December - to avoid defeat, and has said a loss for the government would plunge Britain into "uncharted territory".

UK MPs piled more pressure on Theresa May to rule out a "no deal" Brexit on Tuesday (8 January) after inflicting another embarrassing defeat on her.

An alliance of governing Conservative and opposition legislators has dealt May two defeats in as many days - symbolic setbacks that suggest a power shift from the executive to the legislature.

The technical changes to a crucial piece of government legislation were meant to demonstrate to ministers the strength of opposition to a no-deal Brexit in the Commons.

The government needs 318 votes to get a deal through parliament as seven Sinn Fein lawmakers do not sit, four speakers and deputy speaker do not vote and the four tellers are not counted. Lawmakers would have the power to amend that plan.

However a former cabinet minister has said the prime minister is still not prepared to rule out crashing out of the European Union without a deal, despite around 220 MPs signing a letter urging her to rule it out. Now around 10,000 heavy goods vehicles arrive every day at the port.

But without the DUP's support, and with many of May's Conservative MP still strongly opposed, the deal can not pass.

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After a two week Christmas recess, United Kingdom parliamentarians resumed hostilities on Brexit, with 20 Conservative MPs joining forces with the opposition Labour party and supporting an amendment to the May government's Finance Bill demanding that a "no deal" Brexit be ruled out.

The 303 to 296 defeat means the government needs explicit parliamentary approval to leave the European Union without a deal before it can use certain powers relating to taxation law.

She is hoping new proposals on Northern Ireland will change enough MPs' minds to save the deal. "These discussions have shown that further clarification over the backstop is possible and those talks will continue over the next few days", May said. "End this costly charade and rule out no deal", Corbyn demanded.

A majority of members of Parliament oppose a no-deal Brexit, but it remains the default option if May's deal is rejected.

While a majority of MPs may vote to take a "no deal" Brexit off the table, that would not legally oblige Mrs May's government to do so.

Agata Gostynska-Jakubowska, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, said Wednesday's parliamentary vote would do little to change the mood in Brussels regarding Brexit.

News agency dpa reported that Weber said everyone must realize that a no-deal withdrawal would "lead to very hard, perhaps even chaotic situations".

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.

He said the choice was between May's deal, no deal or "to reverse the 2016 referendum entirely".