Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Theresa May loses voice and vote

Theresa May loses voice and vote

PRIME minister Theresa May has lost the Brexit vote with MPs across the house voting against her deal.

It said backing for the PM's deal has now more than doubled to 40% - though the responses had been given before the Commons voted to take a no-deal Brexit off the table on Wednesday night.

Jeremy Corbyn has called on the PM to change course after her deal was "decisively rejected" by 149 votes on Tuesday.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said a no-deal Brexit would "do generational damage to our economy and security".

In his concluding remarks, he said: "The Prime Minister's deal has failed, she no longer has the ability to lead, this is a rudderless Government in the face of a huge national crisis". Tariffs would be maintained to protect some industries, including agriculture.

Conservative leader Mrs May has granted Tory MPs a free vote.

After the Commons rejected Mrs May's Brexit deal by 149 votes on Tuesday, the European Union has warned the risk of a "disorderly" Brexit has never been higher. And just 16 days until Brexit (Guardian); Croaky horror show (The Sun); How much more of this can Britain take (Daily Express); May loses control of Brexit after MPs throw out revamped deal (Financial Times); Out of control (Independent); Driven to despair (The Times); and The House of Fools (Daily Mail).

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Mr Corbyn, in his reply, said: "I do have sympathy with the Prime Minister on her voice and I hope it soon recovers, I understand how painful this is".

Meanwhile, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, warned Tuesday that the European Union was no longer interested in negotiating a new deal. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal. "Tonight she's not even showing the leadership to whip on no deal".

Although the PM managed to convince about 40 Tory MPs to change their mind, it was not almost enough to overturn the historic 230 vote defeat she suffered on the same deal in January.

The North West Cambridgeshire MP said: "Given no-deal Brexit is the Government's default position, will the Prime Minister kindly inform the House she will instruct the Chancellor to make available whatever funds are required to ensure the country is as best prepared as possible in the event we do leave on a no-deal basis".

Amid reports Brexiteer ministers have been granted a free vote on this proposal, Tory MP Steve Baker told BBC News the plan - which would see Brexit delayed until 22 May - was "eminently reasonable".

Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone (Wellingborough) asked Mrs May to back the Malthouse amendment, which aims for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union without a deal but also secure a transition period until the end of December 2021.

Members of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs have tabled an amendment that would see the United Kingdom leave without a formal agreement, with the backstop being replaced by alternative arrangements and a series of "standstill" economic arrangements until the end of 2021 to minimise disruption.

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