Theresa May suffers parliamentary defeat as debate over Brexit deal resumes

French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau in conversation with compatriot Michel Barnier the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator More

The vote came hard on the heels of Tuesday night's Commons defeat for the Government on a motion meant to limit its powers to change taxes in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Previously, it had been expected that the government would have 21 days to come up with a fresh plan to put before the Commons.

Mr Grieve said the amendment was an attempt to "accelerate the process" if the vote was lost so as to avoid the prospects of a no-deal Brexit.

By 308 to 297 votes MPs demanded that the government produces its alternative plans within three working days if her deal is voted down on 15 January.

In a sign of the anger and division Brexit has sown among politicians, the motion prompted bad-tempered scenes in Parliament, as Conservatives accused Speaker John Bercow of contravening parliamentary convention by allowing a vote on the amendment.

Outlining his decision to select the amendment, Mr Bercow said: "My understanding is the motion is amendable, I'm clear in my mind about that".

After heckles from Conservative members, he added: "I'm trying to do the right thing and make the right judgments".

"If that is a choice then I say let's go on WTO rules".

European leaders are struggling to find a way to help Theresa May convince MPs to back the Brexit deal, with one minister warning the block could do "nothing more".

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"She failed. Isn't the Prime Minister bringing back exactly the same deal she admitted would be defeated four weeks ago?"

May insists Britain will leave the European Union in March whatever happens, but there is growing talk of delaying the two-year Article 50 exit process to give her some breathing space to get her deal agreed.

After a two week Christmas recess, United Kingdom parliamentarians resumed hostilities on Brexit, with 20 Conservative MPs joining forces with the opposition Labour party and supporting an amendment to the May government's Finance Bill demanding that a "no deal" Brexit be ruled out. The proposals would give Northern Ireland a veto over introducing any new areas of law and policy if the so-called Irish backstop provision in the Brexit deal is triggered.

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 a former cabinet minister has said the prime minister is still not prepared to rule out crashing out of the European Union without a deal, despite around 220 MPs signing a letter urging her to rule it out. But the deal has run into fierce opposition among MPs, particularly from a group of Ms.

"The appropriate time to table a motion of no confidence in the government is when the government loses its key legislation and no longer commands a majority in the House of Commons".

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom noted there were "some concerns" about Bercow's decision and challenged him on claims he had overruled the most senior Commons official, clerk Sir David Natzler, in making his decision.

"When I became an MP three years ago I was determined that I would not become part of the establishment. That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in parliament to prevent no deal", Corbyn said, cited by the Guardian.

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