Mr Rees-Mogg told a gathering of the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexit-backing Tories that the DUP’s support for Theresa May could be conditional on the Brexit deal being defeated.
His comments followed an earlier meeting between DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds, ERG chairman Mr Rees-Mogg and deputy chairman Steve Baker.
Mr Rees-Mogg told the meeting: “The DUP will support the Government in a confidence motion if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down.
“But the risk of losing them and having an election is if the Withdrawal Agreement goes through.”
The DUP have only pledged their support for Mrs May should her Brexit deal fail.
Should it scrape through Parliament, they have threatened to stop propping up the Tory government plunging Britain into a snap election, paving the way for Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn to swoop in on No10 or even for Brexit to be cancelled altogether.
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Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal fails to ‘provide a solution to the current chaos of Brexit’
9.30pm update: EU offer Theresa May lifeline by EXTENDING Article 50 – POSTPONING Brexit
The EU says it is prepared to discuss the possibility of extending Article 50 is Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected next week.
Mrs May will travel to Brussels on December 13 two days after the vote in Parliament where EU leaders will discuss postponing Brexit.
It comes after EU sources said leaders would be open to the idea of extending the Article 50 process to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Mrs May’s deal was savaged in the House of Commons when her proposal was undermined by the publishing of the Government’s own legal advice.
8pm update: DUP rages party will vote against May’s Brexit deal
DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds told ITV’s Peston: “We will be voting against the Brexit plan as things stand.
“I can’t see much being changed that will be effective. We will vote against her plan because it is bad for the United Kingdom, certainly bad for Northern Ireland given the legal advice that we have forced out of the Government today.
“Clearly if that is defeated, it would be somewhat illogical – having achieved our aim trying to get to a better deal – it would be illogical then to turn around the next day and say ‘let’s vote the Government out’.
“I think then we start on a process to try to get a better deal.”
7pm update: Zac Goldsmith demands Theresa May is REPLACED so Brexit be renegotiated
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith demanded Prime Minister Theresa May be replaced so the Brexit deal could be renegotiated.
He said: “I believe the Government is going to lose this vote next week, I hope – I’m afraid to say – the Government loses the vote next week.
“And then either this prime minister or, if she will not do it, another prime minister must take it back to the EU and change it.”
6.20pm update: Passing Brexit deal would ‘leave May unable to govern’
Tory former chief whip Mark Harper has said passing Theresa May’s Brexit deal would see the Conservatives’ relationship with the DUP completely break down and leave them “unable to govern”.
The MP raised concerns over the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement, which he said should never be signed off.
He said: “If this deal were voted through next week, it is my belief having listened carefully to what they’ve said, that the relationship between our DUP allies and the Prime Minister would be fractured beyond repair.”
He said Tuesday’s defeats in Parliament would be replicated over and over again under such a scenario, adding: “I think we would be in office but unable to govern our country effectively.”
Mr Harper revealed he plans to break the party whip for the first time in his 13 years as an MP to vote against the deal.
6pm update: Theresa May’s Brexit deal compared to surrender treaty
Conservative former leader Lord Howard has panned Theresa May’s Brexit deal, likening it to a surrender treaty of a defeated nation.
The Conservative peer and Brexiteer argued the UK would be unable to leave the controversial backstop without the EU’s consent, warning that member states would use it to “exercise leverage” against the UK.
Lord Howard said it achieved the opposite of taking back control and that the Government should recognise “this deal is dead”.
He added: “I cannot think of any other country, except perhaps in the immediate aftermath of a defeat in war or perhaps in the face of an imminent defeat of that kind, which has been prepared to give away so much control over such a wide area of its future affairs to a panel of arbitrators.”
5.35pm update: DUP Brexit spokesman warns May has broken promise to Ireland
Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesman, blasted Theresa May for breaking a promise to Northern Ireland in a furious rant at her Brexit deal.
The DUP, which props up May’s minority government, is angry over the so-called backstop arrangement in the deal for Britain to leave the European Union, saying it essentially splits Northern Ireland from the rest of mainland Britain.
Referring to Mrs May’s promise to give the party a final say over he backstop, Mr Wilson said: “We had an arrangement to keep the government in power, promises were made.
“There has been bad faith, the agreement and the understanding we had has been broken, that has caused tension and going down this road will create further tensions. We want to see the agreement honoured because we want to see the United Kingdom preserved.”
5.15pm update: Eurozone bond yields plummet stoking fears the EU economy is on the brink of collapse
Eurozone bond yields have plummeted in the wake of Brexit uncertainty stoking fears of an EU economic downturn.
Germany’s 10-year government bond yield briefly fell to its lowest in over six months and Italy’s two-year yield touched a four-month low, put down to Brexit and growing tensions between the US and China.
The gap between Germany’s two-year and 10-year bond yields narrowed further to 85.70 basis points as Italy’s stocks also fell.
Italian bond yields extended their sharp falls after a cabinet official raised hopes that the government could cut nearly four billion euros from its 2019 budget plans.
Martin van Vliet, senior rates strategist at ING, said: “The European bond market was already preparing for trouble ahead.”
4.35pm update: Treasury would need to shore up British economy in event of Brexit no-deal, says Hammond
The Treasury would be forced to open the spending taps to shore up the economy in the case of a no-deal Brexit, resulting in sharply rising inflation, a collapse in the pound and higher interest rates, Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested.
Mr Hammond told MPs that the expected spike in inflation would make it “very difficult” for the Bank of England to reduce interest rates as it did following the 2016 referendum, leaving it to fiscal policy – taxation and spending – to “carry much of the short-term burden”.
And he said that in the medium term, the UK would need a restructuring of its industry on a scale last seen in the 1980s.
Giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Committee, the Chancellor described no-deal as a “terrible” outcome, pointing to Whitehall analysis suggesting UK GDP could take a 9.3% hit over 15 years in “a needless loss of consumption in the economy”.
4.20pm update: May’s former aide Fallon rages her deal is ‘risk too far’
Former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Theresa May’s deal is “a risk too far” and will not have his support without improvement.
But the Conservative MP for Sevenoaks added no deal was not acceptable and a second referendum would not work “not because it would be divisive but because it would not be decisive”.
He said: “If we are to surrender our vote, our voice and our veto then we need to have a deal that’s worth all the risks of not knowing how it’s going to work out, and we do not have that at the moment.
“This so-called deal is a gamble – we put all our cards and all our money on the table and then wait for another two years for the EU to set the rules of the game and that is a risk too far.”
4.10pm update: Second referendum only way to break Brexit ‘gridlock’ MPs hear
Justine Greening warned as she urged the Government to “ask the people” to break the impasse, threatening parliament will be “gridlocked” no matter what the deal.
The Tory former education secretary told MPs a referendum could be held in the next 22 weeks as she derided Theresa May’s current plan.
Ms Greening said the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister was the equivalent of asking someone to “jump out of a plane without knowing if your parachute is there and attached”.
Ms Greening ended by telling the Commons that we “can do a referendum in 22 weeks”.
Hhe said: “A referendum is one of the ways that we could enable millions of Leave voters who don’t think that this Government is delivering on the verdict of that referendum a chance to have their say properly in a way that they don’t think is happening in this Parliament and we now have some clear cut practical choices and we should put those on the table.”
4pm update: Irish backstop would ‘remove power’ from Commons, Minister warns
Conservative former minister Grant Shapps warned the Irish border backstop proposal could “remove power” from the Commons and UK.
He said: “For the first time as a Member of Parliament I find myself at odds with my own Government.
“With no sign of a solution, certainly not in the Attorney General’s legal advice, I am afraid I’m left contemplating my vote on the Withdrawal Agreement next Tuesday.
“I’m currently minded to vote against.”
4.05pm update: Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman demands ‘security backstop’
Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, called for a “security backstop” in the Brexit deal.
She said: ”Unlike for Northern Ireland, unlike for trade, there is no backstop to continue security cooperation until a future security treaty or overarching treaty is agreed, so if the transition period runs out, and we have not got these things agreed, we will lose these vital capabilities.”
Ms Cooper later suggested an “extension of Article 50” if the deal is voted down, noting: “I know extending this process is painful for all sides and no one wants to be the person calling for it.
“But I think we have to be honest that this process is going to carry on regardless and we have to start behaving like grown-ups on this and recognise the serious things we’re going to have to do.
“There is going to need to be time to build consensus around any possible way forward, I think it’s possible to do but I recognise there are hugely different views in this place and also across the country.”
Ms Greening, pictured gearing up for next week’s vote with Chuka Umunna
3.45pm update: Ireland says reopening talks on May’s deal ‘not feasible’
Leo Varadkar has ruled out the possibility of reopening Brexit negotiations with UK parliamentarians if the Withdrawal Bill is defeated next week.
He said: “The agreement we have took 18 months to negotiate, is 500 pages long, 28 governments agreed to it.
“The suggestion that somehow if it is defeated we would somehow find ourselves negotiating with a parliament really is quite unworkable.
“To see a parliamentary delegation entering the tunnel to reopen the talks is just not something that is feasible.”
The House of Commons is set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on December 11. Some opponents of the deal have called for it to be renegotiated.
3.30pm update: Hammond warns Dover WON’T be ready for Brexit no-deal for two years – despite just 114 days left until EU exit
Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned it will take tow years to get Dover ready for a no-deal Brexit, despite there being just 114 days left until Britain’s exit from the EU.
He said planning permission for a radical overhaul of the Channel port would be a challenge to do in two years.
He used his warning to fuel speculation over the dangers of voting down Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
He said: “Years, not months, would be needed for Britain’s ports to be ready to handle the customs and regulatory checks required under the standard World Trade Organisation terms favoured by some Brexit supporters.”
3.25pm update: Brexit would see Scotland ‘severely damaged’ by lack of migrants, warns Minister
Scottish Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell said Mrs May’s current deal would see parts of Scotland “severely and permanently damaged” by a reduction in EU migrants.
He went on to warn it would make it “considerably harder” for legal and financial sector firms, many of whom are based in Edinburgh, to deal with Europe.
“Why would a party led by Ruth Davidson vote in favour of that?” he asked.
Mr Russell continued: “In every area of Scotland there are businesses, organisations, communities and individuals who will suffer, directly suffer, over a long period of time if this deal is approved. Each and every person will suffer. The analysis we have done indicates that by 2030, if after leaving the EU we move to a free trade agreement, GDP will be cut by £9 billion – equivalent to £1,600 per person in Scotland. So forget £350 million a week more for the NHS – the reality is £30 a week less for every man, woman and child with no respite.”
3.20pm update: Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement fails to ‘provide solution to Brexit chaos’, says Scotland
Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal fails to “provide a solution to the current chaos of Brexit”, MSPs have been told.
Scottish Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell hit out at the draft agreement, which has been reached by the Prime Minister and the European Union as Holyrood prepared to vote on this.
A “unique collaboration” by the SNP, Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats resulted in a joint motion condemning both Mrs May’s deal and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. If the motion is passed “Scotland will say that it rejects both the Prime Minister’s deal and no deal, and instead looks to its politicians to find a better way forward,” Mr Russell said.
He reiterated the Scottish Government’s support for the UK as a whole staying in the single market and customs union – but also pointed out SNP MPs would back either a second referendum on Brexit or an early general election.
Mr Russell said: “The only option that does not provide a solution to the current chaos of Brexit is that proposed by the Prime Minister.”
Leo Varadkar has ruled out the possibility of reopening Brexit negotiation
2:58pm update: Is this proof May wanted to lose the vote?
The PM could have wanted to lose the vote on the amendment tabled by Dominic Grieve, which all but rules out a no-deal exit, speculates BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg.
She pointed towards the possibility of Theresa May wanting to lose the crunch vote over Dominic Grieve’s amendment, which would allow for an amendable motion 21 days after a Government defeat of the current Brexit deal.
The BBC Political Editor referred to a comment from one of the Tory rebels, which mentioned how they did not receive a “single call from the whips”
2.37pm update: Brexit power grab: Germany poised to swipe £117BILLION assets from London
Berlin looks to take a mammoth £711 billion (€800 billion) worth of assets from London as lenders shift operations to Frankfurt ahead of Brexit.
2.28pm update: UK could be ‘trapped in Brexit hamster trap’
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said of the Brexit legal advice: “These legal papers confirm that the deal will mean years of uncertainty and never-ending negotiations, highlighting the awful mess the Conservatives’ Government have made out of Brexit.
“Nobody voted for Britain to be trapped in a Brexit hamster wheel, constantly haggling with close partners on trade as the country gets poorer.
“The case is becoming clearer day by day that the best way to secure our future is through a People’s Vote, with an option to remain in the EU.”
2.22pm update: Diane Abbott says May’s Brexit deal is “almost as bad” as no deal for security
The shadow home secretary told the Commons: “At best you can say it’s a blindfold Brexit but at worst it may be leading us off a cliff on security arrangements.
“If you go through this deal you’ll see there would appear to be a trade-off between security and the Government’s deal.
“This is because in order to achieve a seamless transition on a range of security, policing and justice needs and to have the current level of cooperation it would require a new security treaty between the UK and the EU – yet there’s no expressed aim to move towards that in the exit documents.”
2.07pm update: May’s Brexit plan for UK security is ‘wish list to Santa Claus’
Mr Javid said the agreement secured by Theresa May will allow the UK to continue to work with Brussels on cross-border investigations on modern slavery, using DNA databases to catch criminals, the fast-track extradition of suspects, along with working alongside Europol and Eurojust.
But Labour’s Chris Bryant hit back, saying: “That’s a great wish list, and it’s all in the Political Declaration, but it’s no more deliverable than a letter to Santa Claus.
“It really isn’t.”
The MP for Rhondda added: “It’s all very well having a wish list, but how on earth could a serious member of Parliament vote for nothing more than a wish list?”
In response, Mr Javid said: “When it comes to leaving the EU, the only wish list that I’m aware of that’s worth nothing are Labour’s so-called six Brexit principles.”
Brexit latest: Sajid Javid has opened the second day of Brexit debates
1.51pm update: Corbyn has responded to criticism he avoided Brexit during PMQs
Speaking to reporters after PMQs, a spokesman for the Labour leader said most people in the country “want the issues facing them in their day-to-day lives to be addressed”.
He said: “We will be talking about Brexit every day this week, as we did every day last week and as no doubt we will do every day next week.
“It was absolutely right to focus on other issues which are causing extreme hardship for millions of people in the country.
“As you will know many people in Britain feel that the Brexit process is diverting attention away from crucial issues facing the country which the Government is not addressing.
“Brexit is of course the central issue facing the country, as Jeremy is saying, but it is not the only issue by any matter or means.”
1.33pm update: Hammond announces date for his Budget
Chancellor Philip Hammond has told MPs he will deliver his spring statement on a date between February 26 and the end of March 2019.
The spring statement is the Chancellor’s second most important annual parliamentary event, after the Budget. Its significance has been downgraded by Mr Hammond since he moved the Budget date to the autumn.
Mr Hammond told the Commons Treasury Select Committee he had given the Office for Budget Responsibility the required 10 weeks’ notice to prepare, adding: “The spring statement will be some time between the end of the February recess and the end of March.”
As the statement is normally delivered on a Wednesday, it is likely to come on February 27 or March 6, 13, 20 or 27, in the run-up to the March 29 date of Brexit.
1.25pm update: Brexit will unite the UK
Tory former European commissioner Lord Tugendhat said the agreement is far from ideal but it minimises the cost of departure and will help start rebuilding national unity.
Former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Empey said the Irish border question is being grossly exaggerated, adding: “The real border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland is between Dublin and Holyhead.”
Lord Empey said: “It is not the right deal for this country at this time. It certainly breaks the red lines the Prime Minister gave us assurances about… that there would be no barriers, no border up the Irish Sea.”
He warned that once the backstop is used, “we’ll be very lucky ever to get out of it”.
1.18pm update: May urged to address ” genuine concerns of MPs” over Brexit
Tory MP Derek Thomas (St Ives) urged the Prime Minister to “address the genuine concerns of MPs” if her deal fails to get Commons approval.
He said: “Should the Withdrawal Agreement not secure the support of the Parliament, can my friend the Prime Minister assure the House and my constituents that Her Majesty’s Government will seek early dialogue with negotiators in Brussels to seek to address the genuine concerns of MPs across the House?”
Mrs May responded by saying her proposal is “a good deal”, but added: “I recognise that concerns have been raised particularly around the backstop and that is an issue, which as I said yesterday in my speech in the debate, I’m continuing to listen to colleagues on that and considering the way forward.
1.16pm update: May accused of letting EU use Northern Ireland as a “negotiating ploy”
Mrs May also faced accusations from the DUP that the backstop had been based on a “false assertion”.
But the Prime Minister said it was not a negotiating ploy, explaining: “What it is is our commitment as a UK Government to the people of Northern Ireland.
“People need to know it is beyond a political assertion that there is that commitment there to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that we have no hard border.”
1.14pm update: DUP says May’s Brexit deal is NOT taking back control
DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds referred to mentions of taking back control and ending the ECJ’s jurisdiction before highlighting Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice on the Brexit deal and the Irish border backstop.
He asked Mr Javid: “How can he possibly stand here and recommend this deal and say it brings to an end the jurisdiction of the court of justice and takes back control?”
The DUP deputy leader said: “It is clear from the Attorney General’s advice on the legal effect of the protocol on Northern Ireland to the Prime Minister and her Cabinet colleagues that we were right to advocate its full publication and we have been vindicated in our opposition to the backstop arrangements contained within the Withdrawal Agreement.
“This advice concisely sets out the stark reality of the operation of the backstop. Its publication demonstrates how the Prime Minister has failed to abide by the commitments she gave in that the United Kingdom as a whole would leave the European Union and that she would ensure there would be no customs or regulatory divergence within the United Kingdom.
“This backstop is totally unacceptable to unionists throughout the United Kingdom and it must be defeated and arrangements renegotiated that uphold the commitments which the Prime Minister and her Government has made in the House of Commons.”
1.11pm update: Home Secretary Sajid Javid has opened the second day of the Brexit deal debate
He said: “It is my belief that the deal on the table is the best option available in ensuring a smooth exit from the European Union.
“It will ensure we leave the EU as planned on March 29 next year, that we take back control of our borders, end the jurisdiction of the ECJ (European Court of Justice) in the UK, and we stop sending vast sums of money to Brussels.”
Brexit latest: The DUP’s Nigel Dodds launched a scathing attack on May’s Brexit
1.07pm update: May said the EU would not want Britain to be in a backstop for “longer than is necessary”.
She told MPs: “I recognise there are concerns about the backstop but it is indeed the case that it is not attractive for the European Union to have the United Kingdom in the backstop for a number of reasons.
“First of all because in that backstop we will be making no financial obligation to the European Union; we will not be accepting free movement; and there will be very light-touch level playing field requirements.
“These are matters which mean that the European Union does not see this as an attractive place for them to put the UK: they think that’s an attractive place for the UK to be in and they won’t want us to be in it for longer than is necessary.”
12.59pm update: May says Government would not revoke Article 50
After she was asked about the legal opinion of the ECJ’s advocate-general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona during PMQs, she said: “If his determination does go ahead, what it says is that it is possible for a country unilaterally to revoke Article 50, but that isn’t about extending Article 50 – it’s about making sure that we don’t leave the European Union…
“We will not revoke Article 50: the British people voted to leave the European Union and we will be leaving.”
12.40pm update: May accused of ‘conceling facts’ over her Brexit deal
The SNP’s Ian Blackford mocked the Prime Minister for having lost three votes yesterday and being found in contempt of Parliament, saying: “We were promised strong and stable – what we’ve got is a Government in crisis.”
The party’s Westminster leader asked: “Is it time that the Prime Minister took responsibility for concealing the facts on her Brexit deal from members in this House and the public?
“Will she take responsibility?”
But Mrs May rejected the claim, and said the full legal advice they were forced to publish today was the same as the shortened statement the Government made earlier this week.
Brexit latest: May faced Corbyn in the House of Commons during PMQs
12.31pm update: Geoffery Cox has reacted after his legal advice was published
He said the decision to make his legal advice available to MPs by placing it in parliamentary libraries “does not set a precedent for any future release of law officers’ advice”.
In a written statement, the Attorney General said: “It remains a fundamental constitutional convention that neither the fact, nor the content, of law officers’ advice is disclosed outside Government without the law officers’ consent.
“That convention provides the fullest guarantee that the business of governments is conducted at all times in the light of thorough and candid legal advice, which may also enter into matters of acute sensitivity to the public interest.”
Mr Cox said that use of the arcane parliamentary procedure of a humble address to the Queen to force the release of the document created “constitutional tensions” which “are not themselves conducive to the proper conduct of public affairs”.
He said: “It is necessary that the public has confidence in the ability of Government and Parliament to work together at a time of national decision-making of the most profound significance.
“The standing of the House of Commons is also of prime importance. For these reasons, having tested the will of the House twice, the Government will respect its decision and, in these exceptional circumstances and to resolve for the present those constitutional tensions, it has decided, with my consent, to publish this advice.”
12.24pm update: Government amendment to ‘peel off’ rebels
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted: “Set for huge row about legal advice today – BUT in the background there’s chatter about a govt amendment next week that might peel off some rebels or maybe not whipping against the John Baron amendment
12.21pm update: Don’t put shackles on Government! Chris Grayling hits out
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has warned fellow Brexiteers voting against Mrs May’s deal in the House of Commons about placing Brexit “in danger” by putting “shackles” on the Government.
In remarks following a speech to transport and business leaders in Birmingham on Wednesday, he said: “You’re not going to draw me on forecasting the future.
“What I know is that politics is moving very fast at the moment.
“What people on the Brexit side of the argument particularly need to ask themselves is are we prepared to put in danger leaving the European Union, after votes in the House of Commons which clearly try and put greater shackles on the Government when it comes to Brexit.”
12.15pm update: EU says UK can keep Thatcher’s rebate if Brexit is cancelled
Handing a boost to anti-Brexit campaigners, German EU commissioner Gunther Oettinger confirmed the rebate would remain in place if Britain reconsiders its divorce.
Mr Oettinger has previously hit out at the suggestion Britain could keep the cash back incentive negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
But now he believe the rebate is “permanent” and Britain would be allowed to keep it if Brexit is reversed.
12.10pm update: Brexit legal advice has been published
The six-page 33-paragraph document by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox was released to MPs a day after the House of Commons found the Government in contempt of Parliament for trying to keep it secret.
The letter, dated November 13, emerged just minutes before Mrs May faced MPs in a weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions ahead of the second day of a five-day Commons debate on her deal.
It warned that it could result in the UK becoming stuck in “protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations”.
It says: “In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the United Kingdom might become subject to protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations.
“This risk must be weighed against the political and economic imperative on both sides to reach an agreement that constitutes a politically stable and permanent basis for their future relationship.
“This is a political decision for the Government.”
Brexit latest: Liam Fox said Remainers could ‘steal’ Brexit from Brexiteers
12pm update: May set for showdown with Corbyn during PMQs
The Tory leader will face the Labour leader for the first time since her Commons humiliation over her Brexit deal.
11.58am update: Green MP reacts to Brexit legal advice
Caroline Lucas tweeted sections of the legal advice, which she said suggested it was not received by the Cabinet until November 13 – the day MPs first voted for it to be released.
Ms Lucas highlighted concerns in the document that the protocol setting out the backstop arrangements for Ireland would “endure indefinitely”.
According to the extracts, she said, a review mechanism in the Brexit deal “does not provide a unilateral route out of the backstop” and there is “a legal risk that UK could become stuck in protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations”.
11.47am update: Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s full legal advice on Brexit is set to be published
Mrs May faces a fresh fight to save her Brexit deal as the Government prepares to publish the full legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU following a crunching House of Commons defeat.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it reveals “central weaknesses in the Government’s deal”.
Sir Keir said he had seen the full document, which is due to be released on Wednesday following Tuesday’s parliamentary vote which found the Government in contempt of Parliament.
Writing on Twitter, Sir Keir said: “Having reviewed the Attorney General’s legal advice, it’s obvious why this needed to be placed in the public domain.
“All week we have heard from Government ministers that releasing this information could harm the national interest. Nothing of the sort. All this advice reveals is the central weaknesses in the Government’s deal.
“It is unthinkable that the Government tried to keep this information from Parliament – and indeed the public – before next week’s vote.”
11.36am update: The House of Lords are debating May’s Brexit deal
Mrs May was warned by Labour in the Lords that to “crash out” of the EU with a no-deal Brexit would be “grossly reckless and irresponsible”.
Labour’s leader in the Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon branded the Withdrawal Agreement “inadequate” and said a no-deal scenario must be rejected.
But Lords leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park defended the deal as being in the national interest and vital to protect jobs.
Urging peers to support the deal, Lady Evans said: “This is a good deal and as European leaders have made clear, the only one on offer.”
READ MORE: Brexit backstop explained
Brexit latest: May is under pressure over her Brexit deal
11.18am update: Irish backstop plan is like ‘Russian roulette’
Brexiteer Marcus Fysh, the MP for Yeovil, said: “Is the calculated risk a bit like putting five bullets in the chamber of a revolver and playing Russian roulette with it?
“It’s utterly stupid.”
Liam Fox replied that there are those “on the other side of this negotiation who think what has been negotiated gives Britain an unacceptable advantage”.
11.06am update: Theresa May makes new appointment
Conservative MP Chris Skidmore has been appointed as a minister of state jointly at the Department for Education and at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Mr Skidmore replaces Sam Gyimah, who resigned from the Government last week in protest at Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
The MP for Kingswood, in south Goucestershire, is a vice-chair of the Conservative Party and previously served as a Cabinet Office minister from 2016 to January this year.
11am update: Downing Street spends £50k on promoting May’s Brexit deal
The Prime Minister was accused of throwing taxpayers’ money “down the drain” by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who obtained the figures with a parliamentary question.
No details were given of how the money was spent, but a series of clips promoting the deal have been released on the @theresa_may and @10DowningStreet Twitter feeds and the Prime Minister’s Facebook page with the hashtag £BackTheBrexitDeal.
Releasing the figures in a written reply, Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith stressed that the £52,509 spend amounted to less than 0.02% of the total Government communications budget of £300 million a year.
10.42am update: Holyrood set to reject May’s Brexit deal
MSPs have called for a “better alternative” to the Prime Minister’s plans be taken forward.
It comes after Nicola Sturgeon visited London on Monday to persuade MPs to vote against Mrs May’s exit deal.
10.28am update: Liam Fox says Remainers could STEAL Brexit from Brexiteers
The International Trade Secretary warned the Remain majority in Parliament may attempt to “steal” Brexit from voters.
He told the Commons International Trade Committee: “I think that there is, as I have written recently, a real danger that the House of Commons, which has a natural Remain majority, may attempt to steal Brexit from the British people.
“Which I think would be a democratic affront.”
10.19am update: Brexit poll – Majority believe the EU’s exit is the WRONG decision
Fewer than four in 10 Britons (38 percent) now think the UK was right to vote for Brexit, while almost half (49 percent) believe it was the wrong decision.
The 11 percent gap is the widest recorded by pollsters YouGov in a regular series of monthly surveys for the Times, while the number believing Brexit was right is at its lowest and those seeing it as wrong at its highest.
Virtually every poll in the sequence since the summer of 2017 has found a majority believing that the wrong decision was made in the EU referendum of 2016.
9.38am update: Queen could STEP IN if May loses no confidence vote
The monarch could be forced to use rare powers if May is forced out next week.
Cambridge academic David Howarth told The Times: “The Queen would have to step in to dismiss the ministry, a step which, though legitimate, would threaten to bring her into politics.
“The Queen would not know at that point whether a new government could be formed, and her judgement might be proved wrong.”
9.23am update: Extending Article 50 ‘can’t be ruled out’
Labour’s shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti was asked about Labour’s stance on the issue after the ECJ’s advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said the UK could withdraw its notification to leave the EU before its exit in March 2019 without needing the approval of the other 27 states.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It can’t be ruled out because the clock is ticking…
“I think there would be time if Mrs May heard what happened in the House of Commons last night and decided to think again and go back to her European colleagues right now and not wait until next week.”
Brexit latest: May suffered a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons
9.17am update: Blocking Brexit would be ‘inconceivable’ – former Brexit Secretary
Dominic Raab said it would be wrong to “pull a handbrake up on Brexit”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Theresa May’s deal is “lousy”, saying: “I think the Grieve amendment was predictable but what we need to understand is that resolutions of Parliament pass as politically have some impact, but they are not legally binding.
“And therefore if the deal is voted down on Tuesday I think what will matter most of all will not be what Parliament says in a motion – it will need legislation to stop Brexit – what will matter is the will and resolve in Number 10 Downing Street.”
9.09am update: Owen Jones admits Britons just wanted to LEAVE
The Remainer admitted that Leave voters in Brexit supporting constituencies have just been left questioning why MPs have not accepted their decision to leave the EU.
Mr Jones was responding to an ECJ advisor who said in his opinion the UK could stop Brexit without the permission of the European Union. Speaking on Sky News, the columnist insisted the advisor’s comments were not “such a game changer”.
He said: “The ruling on Article 50 I don’t personally see as such a game changer because the EU has already made it perfectly clear that if Britain wanted to stop the process it could.
“Before that, the difference is it would have to be approved by 27EU countries, where the difference is this could be done unilaterally by parliament.
“Nonetheless, the issue is, for Labour and others. The fact is, the majority of this country voted to leave the European Union.”
8.43am update: Brexiteer FIGHTBACK
Iain Duncan-Smith has dismantled claims Dominic Grieve’s amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement will force Brexiteers to back Mrs May’s deal as it takes a no-deal scenario off the table – arguing motions “don’t mean anything”.
He told Sky News: “It’s an amendment to a motion and the motion is not binding on the Government because it’s not legislation.
“So the Government can have that motion passed and still ignore it. Why? Because right now they have a position which is ultimately to legislate and only when the legislation arrived there’s anything binding on the Government.
“They’ve agreed that on one principle Parliament will tell whether it wants this deal or it doesn’t.
“If it doesn’t want the deal then she has to go back and negotiate it. What they can’t do is bind her hands on what she then negotiates.
“She’s got to come back again for another vote in Parliament and that’s the reality to it.”
8.18am update: Legal advice to be published TODAY
Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom has said the legal advice to Cabinet would be published at around 11.30am today.
Before the debate could even get going, Mrs May suffered a series of bruising Commons defeats which saw her authority take a pounding.
Ministers had to agree to publish the “final and full” legal advice on the withdrawal agreement as the Government was found to be in contempt of Parliament for not already doing so.
And in another blow to the PM, MPs succeeded in calls for the Commons to have a direct say in what happens if her deal is rejected next Tuesday.
The votes delayed the start of the five-day debate by several hours.
8.07am update: Farage calls for British politics to make way for new ‘Brexit party’
It comes after he announced his shock decision to leave Ukip as the Government’s shambolic exit from the European Union reaches crisis point.
The former Ukip leader quit last night after 25 years, saying he no longer recognised the party he led to its greatest election success under the leadership of Gerard Batten.
But as Mr Farage announced his departure, he was also keen to throw down the gauntlet to Prime Minister Theresa May as he made demands for a new Brexit party.
The 54-year-old said as Ukip had “changed fundamentally” under the leadership of Mr Batten, there was now a great demand for a new party to steer Britain through exiting the EU.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph, he said: “There is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it won’t be filled by Ukip.”
Mr Farage also condemned Mr Batten’s decision to throw Ukip’s support behind an anti-Brexit demonstration in London on Sunday, which was organised by its new party advisor, Tommy Robinson.
He said: “There was one last opportunity to stop Ukip being part of this probable travesty, which may well inspire violence and thuggish behaviour and, with it, give the opponents of Brexit a chance to lambast Brexiteers everywhere.”
Today marks the second of five days of debates on the deal before the December 11 vote, and follows a first day which saw a series of dramatic defeats for the Prime Minister’s struggling administration.