Brexit deal could be nudged through with a 'judicious tweak'
09 January, 2019, 21:56
Twice Corbyn asked May if she would discount the idea of no deal, especially after MPs backed an amendment to the finance bill from Labour's Yvette Cooper to curb some of the government's tax administration powers in the event of the United Kingdom crashing out of the EU.
She pulled a scheduled parliamentary vote on the brokered withdrawal agreement last month, admitting it lacked the required support.
308 MPs voted for - compared to 297 MPs who voted against - an amendment made by Remainer Tory MP Dominic Grieve, requiring the Government to set out its alternative suggestion no more than three days after a defeat in the "meaningful vote".
There were turbulent scenes in parliament when some in May's Conservative Party accused the speaker of bias.
A vote, initially slated for mid-December, is now scheduled for January 15 - and the government still looks likely to lose.
But her spokesman added: "If that were not to take place. we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward".
The prime minister has warned that defeat will lead to a no-deal Brexit, or possibly no departure from the bloc.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said the delay "has achieved nothing beyond wasting a month".
And that's raised concerns of a "no-deal" Brexit and prompted talk of an extension to the two-year process or even another referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.
Speaking before the resumption of the Commons debate on her proposals, which will culminate next Tuesday in the vote postponed from December, May insisted she could reassure MPs about the backstop.
"I've been in contact with European leaders. about MPs' concerns".
May insisted on Wednesday that "further clarification" from the European Union was possible, "and those talks will continue over the next few days".
A pro-Brexit protester, centre, argues with an anti-Brexit protester during a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
The crushing response came after the publication of a Government paper setting out nine "commitments" to Northern Ireland created to reinforce its "integral" place in the United Kingdom if the backstop ever kicked in.
Many Conservatives, and Northern Ireland's tiny Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that props up May's government, fear the so-called backstop will keep Britain indefinitely tied to the EU's single market rules.
Wilson, one of 10 DUP lawmakers propping up May's minority government, described as "window dressing" her proposals to give the Northern Irish assembly the power to vote against new European Union rules if the border backstop comes into force after Brexit.
"It is a warning to the Government not to drift into No Deal at the end of March by accident or through brinkmanship", she said.
I don't think the British public are served by fantasies about magical, alternative deals that are somehow going to spring out of a cupboard in Brussels.
May told lawmakers that parliament had a choice: back her or risk Britain leaving the bloc without a deal - a scenario many businesses say would splinter supply chains and hamper investment in the world's fifth largest economy.
The de-facto deputy Prime Minister, David Lidington, said the only way to avoid a disruptive no-deal "is for Parliament to endorse and ratify a deal".
British Prime Minister Theresa May's office had played down the technical impact of defeat.
The DUP's 10 MPs strongly object to the backstop, which they say curbs Northern Ireland's freedom to strike trade deals and result in NI being treated differently from the rest of the UK.
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