Brexit: Starmer insists a second vote may be the only way out
Jan 10 2019
British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another setback to her Brexit withdrawal deal Tuesday as members of her own Conservative Party joined opposition Labour Party MPs in favor of a vote to curb the government's spending powers if Britain fails to secure an agreement deal on its departure from the European Union.
The motion means that should the Prime Minister lose the meaningful vote on Tuesday, she will have to come back before MPs and explain her next steps within three days.
"But it is also the intention, if that were not to take place, that we respond quickly to provide certainty on the way forward following that vote".
"There is a question of extension of Article 50 and that may well be inevitable now given the position that we are in, but of course we can only seek it because the other 27 (member states) have to agree", he said.
"The real question for Members of Parliament who voted to give the public a say through the European referendum in 2016, who voted in large numbers to trigger Article 50, is the outcome of triggering Article 50 is you either have a deal and the EU have been clear that the only deal on the table is the PM's deal".
"Isn't the prime minister bringing back exactly the same deal she admitted would be defeated four weeks ago?" he asked.
"The amendment doesn't affect the normal operations of the Treasury. but it does make it harder for the government to drift into no deal without parliament being able to direct it", Yvette Cooper, the MP who introduced the amendment, told the Guardian.
All the government defeat would do, he told MPs, would be to make the United Kingdom "somewhat less prepared".
May is also seeking assurances on the operation of the backstop from European leaders, which she hopes to deliver before the vote next week, although they say they will not reopen the deal.
Earlier, the Commons was in uproar after it emerged the Speaker had allowed MPs the chance to have a major influence on the Brexit process through simply amending a business motion, which would set out the run of play.
The House voted by 308 to 297 in favour of the amendment tabled by the pro-Remain Tory MP Dominic Grieve with the support of other Conservative rebels.
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.
Rather than warming to May's deal since then, lawmakers have tried to wrest control of Brexit from the government and put it in the hands of Parliament.
But if her efforts fail, many fear Britain could leave the European Union with no deal, with potentially disastrous legal and economic consequences.
A Number 10 spokesman said: "We are surprised that the Grieve amendment was selected, the advice we received was that it would not be in order".
However Bercow insisted an amendment, like Grieve's, was different to a motion, provoking Francois to begin yelling "ridiculous" and "that is utter sophistry" as the Speaker defended his decision. "That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in parliament to prevent no deal", Corbyn said, cited by the Guardian.