May suffers another Commons Brexit defeat UK News

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May, who is struggling to win approval for her Brexit plan, previously had 21 days to report back to the Commons in the event of a defeat next Tuesday.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said history will take "a dim view" of the PM's Cabinet if it presses ahead with a no-deal Brexit if MPs vote against her agreement next week.

But Bercow, who is in the Remain camp over Brexit, was keen to allow the amendment that was widely supported by Labour and some Tory MPs because it would put more pressure on May.

Meanwhile, a cross-party group of pro-EU MPs have backed a new amendment that would require Mrs May to return to the Commons with a new plan within just three days if she loses the meaningful vote.

Rebel Conservative MPs have joined forces with Labour to inflict a fresh blow on Theresa May's government in a Commons Brexit vote. However, that could be less likely with the government's defeat on Tuesday.

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".

Conversely, most Conservative MPs were confident that alternatives could be found to the "Irish backstop" question and that the United Kingdom economy could cope with a "hard Brexit". She claimed that having listened to concerns from MPs, she would seek the necessary changes in order to get her Brexit plan through Parliament. Brexiteers are urging the government to ramp up preparations for leaving the European Union without a deal.

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.

On Tuesday night, MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit were were joined by 20 Tory rebels in backing a cross-party amendment to the Finance Bill meant to limit the Government's ability to make tax changes in the event of no-deal.

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Mr Grieve said the amendment was an attempt to "accelerate the process" if the vote was lost so as to avoid the prospects of a no-deal Brexit.

However, Mr Bercow insisted that he had made an "honest judgement" in his decision to allow a vote on the amendment, and argued that "if we were only ever guided by precedent, nothing would ever change".

The government had earlier published a series of commitments to Northern Ireland over the Brexit deal, aimed at wooing MPs opposed to the so-called backstop arrangement for the Irish border.

A source in Brussels told AFP several weeks ago that Britain has been discussing the possibility with European officials, and a junior British minister, Margot James, publicly voiced the idea on Monday.

The timescale was shortened thanks to a successful amendment to the Commons motion on Mrs May's Brexit deal pushed by Conservative Remainer Dominic Grieve. Brexit supporters are anxious that there is no mechanism for Britain to unilaterally withdraw, meaning it could end up indefinitely stuck in the union, hampering its ability to strike deals with the rest of the world.

An EU diplomat told AFP on Tuesday that "we are convinced that Theresa May will request a postponement after the agreement is rejected in the British parliament".

Economists and businesses warn that would cause economic turmoil, as goods moving between Britain and the European Union suddenly faced customs checks, tariffs and other barriers.

"The only way we can move forward if the Government's deal is not acceptable to Parliament is for Parliament to engage with Government and find a solution, which is what I am trying to do".

Responding to May's comments, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn called on May to "do the right thing" and call a public vote if she fails to get her divorce deal through parliament.

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