Government makes last-ditch appeal for Brexit vote backing

Jan 14, 2019, 01:12
Government makes last-ditch appeal for Brexit vote backing

With the clock ticking down to its 29 March exit from the European Union and parliament deadlocked, Britain faces a hugely uncertain path that could lead to a disorderly exit or even remaining in the bloc.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said discussions were continuing with No 10 as to what form such assurances could take, as he warned that a no-deal would be a "catastrophe".

When the people are asked to decide something, their response carries a "profound significance", she will add.

The Sunday Times reported that rebel lawmakers were planning to wrest control of the legislative agenda away from Mrs May next week with a view to suspending or delaying Brexit, citing a senior government source.

However, when the BBC asked what happens if the deal is defeated, Barclay said he suspected the Commons would support something "along the lines of this deal" but did not speculate on whether the government had a Brexit "plan B" lined up.

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"What Article 50 says is: "The EU Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or" - and here's the key - "failing that, two years after the notification" so the notification was the letter that was delivered that Theresa May spoke about".

She has repeatedly told MPs that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

May pulled a vote on the deal last month, acknowledging it would have been roundly rejected by MPs.

He said: "I would love a general election because that would allow us to give a very clear statement to the Tory government as to where we're standing".

"People's faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm".

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But in a possible sign that the tide is beginning to turn in favour of the Prime Minister's exit plan, four Brexiteer backbenchers have announced they will back it despite speculation they could vote against it.

Mrs May is expected to suffer a big defeat when parliament votes on Tuesday.

Insisting that he had not given up hope of victory in next week's vote, he said: "What is important is for MPs on all sides, Brexiters and Remainers, whatever our disagreements, to say "We are democrats and the most important thing now is to make sure that we really do deliver Brexit".

"There was then a vote on the triggering of Article 50 and unbelievably, almost 500 MPs voted to trigger Article 50. And both major parties did so too when they stood on election manifestos in 2017 that pledged to honour the result of the referendum".

Ms Rudd said it was "right" for the government to make preparations for a no-deal Brexit, comparing it to wearing a seatbelt when driving a fast vehicle.

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"On the rare occasions when parliament puts a question to the British people directly we have always understood that their response carries a profound significance".