BREXIT VOTE LIVE: Theresa May HUMILIATED by 149-vote defeat – CRISIS cabinet meeting held

Posted on Mar 14 2019 - 2:35am by admin

MPs rejected her divorce deal by a majority of 149, despite the Prime Minister attempting to convince Westminster she had secured legal concessions from Brussels. Some 75 Tory rebels blocked her improved deal, down from the 118 who voted down her Withdrawal Agreement in January. Speaking after the result was announced, Mrs May said she “profoundly regrets the decision this House has taken tonight”.

The Prime Minister added: “I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is the UK leaves the EU in orderly fashion with a deal.

“And that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed only deal available.”

The Northern Irish DUP, whose 10 votes prop up the Government, voted against the deal, along with many members of the European Research Group (ERG).

On a day of high drama in Westminster, the Prime Minister earlier warned MPs that “Brexit could be lost” if her divorce deal was defeated.

Theresa May

MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal tonight (Image: BBC•GETTY)

Mrs May urged MPs to get behind her plan, claiming she had secured legal changes to the backstop following her 11th hour trip to Strasbourg last night.

But momentum shifted against Mrs May when Attorney General Geoffrey Cox refused to make a U-turn on his legal advice that the UK could be permanently trapped in the backstop arrangement.

Mr Cox said that while the risk was reduced it could not be ruled out.

MPs are now expected to vote to block a no-deal Brexit tomorrow and to delay the UK’s departure from the EU on Thursday.

FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:

9pm update: Tory former Brexit Minister tables “Malthouse Compromise” amendment

Steve Baker said he had tabled a “Malthouse Compromise” amendment to Wednesday’s motion with Tory colleagues which would seek extension of Article 50 until May 22.

8.45pm update: Scotland’s First Minister demands second referendum

Nicola Sturgeon called for a second referendum with the option to remain in the EU.

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, added that the vote was an “utter humiliation for the Prime Minister”, saying “we are now in a crisis”.

Brexit deal vote

The Government suffered a huge defeat in the vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal (Image: EXPRESS)

8.35pm update: No further Brexit talks – Selmayr

The European Commission’s secretary general Martin Selmayr retweeted a message saying that “there will be no further talks” on Brexit.

8.25pm update: Chuka Umunna says “the jury’s out” on second referendum

Mr Umunna, who quit Labour to form the Independent Group, said “the jury’s out” on whether the vote made a second referendum more likely.

He told BBC News: “Ultimately with gridlock in this place continuing it’s hard to see how you resolve the gridlock without referring it back to the people.”

8.15pm update: May is NOT going anywhere

A Downing Street source said the Prime Minister had not discussed resigning with her team and said it “remains the case” that the Commons recently expressed its confidence in the Government.

The source said: “It still remains the case that the House of Commons as a whole has quite recently expressed its confidence in the Government, which is of course led by the Prime Minister.”

8pm update: Jacob Rees-Mogg warns it would not be easy to extend Article 50

Mr Rees-Mogg told the BBC: “The default legal position remains, as the Prime Minister pointed out, that we still leave on March 29.

“It would have to be changed by law, and the law is not easy to change.”

He added: “The only way of changing the date is for an extension granted by the EU… what purpose would this extension serve? What is going to be asked for in this extension?”

7.45pm update: Nigel Farage slams May in Twitter post

The former Ukip leader said: “This is a total failure of leadership.”

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MPs are set to vote on blocking a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday (Image: EXPRESS)

7.40pm update: Barnier says EU no-deal preparations are “more important than ever”

The EU’s chief negotiator tweeted: “The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the UK.

“Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.”

7.35pm update: Corbyn says Government must accept their deal is “dead”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The Government has been defeated again by an enormous majority.

“They must now accept their deal is clearly dead and does not have the support of this House.

“Quite clearly, no-deal must be taken off the table.”

Mr Corbyn said the Commons has to come together with a proposal that could be negotiated and called for a general election.

7.30pm update: EU responds to Withdrawal Agreement defeat

The EU has responded to tonight’s defeat, with European Council president Donald Tusk saying he was “disappointed” by the result.

A spokesman said: “We regret the outcome of tonight’s vote and are disappointed that the UK government has been unable to ensure a majority for the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by both parties in November.

“On the EU side we have done all that is possible to reach an agreement. Given the additional assurances provided by the EU in December, January and yesterday, it is difficult to see what more we can do. If there is a solution to the current impasse it can only be found in London.

“The EU for its part continues to stand by the Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, which serves to prevent a hard border in Ireland and preserve the integrity of the single market unless and until alternative arrangements can be found.

“With only 17 days left to 29 March, today’s vote has significantly increased the likelihood of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. We will continue our no-deal preparations and ensure that we will be ready if such a scenario arises.

“Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity. The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration. The smooth functioning of the EU institutions will need to be ensured.”

Theresa May

Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been blocked once again (Image: GETTY)

7.15pm update: MPs reject Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement

MPs have voted against the deal by a majority of 149.

Mrs May has confirmed a vote on no deal tomorrow evening. She said it would be a free vote for her party. 

7pm update: MPs have started voting on deal

The results are due at 7.15pm.

6.55pm update: Shadow Brexit Secretary brands PM’s deal “an abject failure”

Sir Keir Starmer said: “It’s now obvious that the expectations, having been raised, have not been fulfilled and the promises have not been kept.

“Amongst the problems for the Prime Minister and the Government is they have been living day to day, week to week, avoiding defeat today by promising something tomorrow.

“As tonight’s vote is likely to show, today has caught up with tomorrow – there can be no more buying time.”

6.50pm update: Rees-Mogg will NOT support deal

The ERG leader said: “I shall be voting against the Government this evening… I expect the majority of the ERG will vote against.”

He added that he was not worried Brexit would be delayed, saying: “The law remains as it is and the statute law is that we leave on March 29.”

6.30pm update: Boris Johnson says May’s deal has “reached the end of the road”

The former foreign secretary called for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

Leading Brexiteer Mr Johnson insisted Mrs May’s deal should be “put to bed” if it is rejected by MPs once again.

He added that the UK would then be left with the choice of pressing on with a no-deal Brexit despite its “short-term” difficulties or risk “humiliation” by accepting further changes that limit the “disruption” but are to the benefit of the EU.

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Boris Johnson says May’s deal has “reached the end of the road” (Image: EPA)

6.20pm update: Barnier warns of “dangerous illusion” over transition period

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has warned there will be no transition period without a Brexit deal.

He said on Twitter: “Listening to debate in House of Commons, there seems to be a dangerous illusion that the UK can benefit from a transition in the absence of the WA (Withdrawal Agreement).

“Let me be clear: the only legal basis for a transition is the WA. No Withdrawal Agreement means no transition.”

6.10pm update: “Majority” of ERG to vote against May’s deal

The “majority” of the ERG will vote against Mrs May’s Brexit plan, according to Tory MP Simon Clarke.

It comes after the group of Brexiteers met to discuss which way to vote.

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