Yvette Cooper move to block no deal passes by 7 votes

09 January, 2019, 06:03 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street after a confidence vote by Conservative Party members of parliament in London Britain

Britain's parliament has dealt Prime Minister Theresa May's government a narrow defeat by passing an amendment created to put roadblocks in place to make a "no-deal" Brexit more hard.

Her proposal aims to restrict the government's freedom to use the Finance Bill to make tax changes linked to a no deal Brexit without the "explicit consent" of Parliament.

The government lost the vote by 296 votes to 303, with six former cabinet ministers - Ken Clarke, Michael Fallon, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and Nicky Morgan - defying party orders and siding with Labour.

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 she is still struggling to convince both opposition lawmakers and her own Conservative party to back the divorce agreement, heightening fears Britain could leave the European Union on Mar 29 without a deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to force her Brexit deal through parliament but if it is rejected then business chiefs and investors fear the world's fifth-largest economy will leave without a deal on March 29.

Ms Cooper told Sky News, despite MPs' differing viewpoints on Mrs May's Brexit deal, the vote showed "there is a concern that we should at least come together to rule out the worst possible option, which would be something so chaotic in March".

She consulted with European leaders in the days that followed, but it wasn't clear she gained any new commitments from them.

Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to now rule out a no-deal "once and for all".

The government has committed to holding a vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal next week despite continued doubts over whether it can pass the Commons, with the vote likely to take place on next Tuesday.

Kent Police said it escorted the lorries between the key port of Dover in Kent and nearby Manston Airfield, which could serve as an emergency lorry park if any post-Brexit border checks cause major delays for freight vehicles moving across the English Channel to France.

The government downplayed the significance of its defeat.

Twenty Tory Ministers rebelled against the government in the vote.

Number 10 denied a report that the Government was talking to Brussels about extending Article 50 to buy more time by delaying Britain's departure from the EU.

According to Mr Dodd, "The Withdrawal Agreement, as now proposed, flies in the face of the government's commitments on Northern Ireland as we leave the European Union".

But May's spokesman insisted: "We will not be extending Article 50".

Speaking at a hospital where she was launching her ten-year plan for the NHS, May said that there had been "some further movement from the EU" at the December European Council and that she had been speaking to EU leaders in the intervening period.

The focus so far has been very much on the Withdrawal Agreement and in particular the Irish backstop, which is proving the big obstacle to the deal being pushed through the Commons.

"I'm anxious we could come to the crunch and parliament will not have the powers to stop [no deal] happening" Cooper said in the aftermath of the vote, adding: "I think we have a responsibility not to just stand by".



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