British MPs prepare to debate Brexit amendments ahead of crunch deal vote

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CRUNCH VOTE: Parliament is debating proposals for May’s Brexit deal Photo: Shutterstock


BRITISH MPs have gathered in parliament today (Tuesday) to debate a range of options for Brexit that the Prime Minister could present to the country and the EU going forward.

Theresa May opened the debate in the House of Commons which took place ahead of the second crunch vote on her proposed Withdrawal Agreement.

May told MPs that talks held in previous weeks had shown her she needed to involve Parliament more in the Brexit process.

Concerns over work and environmental rules and the Northern Irish backstop had also been raised, the Prime Minister added.

May said MPs had to deliver Brexit but added she would demand “significant and legally binding” changes to the proposed EU withdrawal agreement.

 

 

 


“I believe with a mandate from this house I can secure such a change,” the Prime Minister said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party offered pragmatic solutions and MPs had also proposed alternatives in the absence of leadership from May.

“The Prime Minister has only doubled-down on her own defeated deal,“ Corbyn said.

Speaker John Bercow has accepted seven amendments to the agreement for a vote.

The Labour opposition’s amendment was among those accepted. It would commit the government to rule out a no deal by seeking a permanent customs union with the EU or holding a second referendum on withdrawal if passed.

Amendments put forward by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve and Labour MP Yvette Cooper would lead to further votes on the deal and to a possible extension of Article 50 respectively.

Conservative Graham Brady’s amendment calling for changes to the Northern Irish backstop was also selected. May signalled the government would be prepared to back it.

May also said she took a positive view towards a compromise struck between pro-leave and pro-remain MPs which would see the post-Brexit transition period extended and the backstop reworked. EU officials said the proposal is unworkable.

The government would be committed to following through with any proposals in amendments that are approved if she wins the vote due to take place between 8pm and 8.30pm.

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