British PM suffers fresh Brexit defeat

Houses of Parliament

Image MPs are calling for the government to 'change course'

Numerous Labour MPs also came to his defence, with Labour MP Chuka Umunna tweeting: "In the Commons chamber now watching the spectacle of a bunch of Tory MPs, who argued for Brexit to reassert Parliamentary sovereignty, now objecting to the Speaker selecting a motion to be voted on that would empower the House of Commons".

Theresa May has suffered another significant defeat in the House of Commons that will force her to reveal her "Brexit Plan B" within days if MPs vote against her deal.

MPs, headed by former Tory ministers Mr Grieve and Oliver Letwin, defied the government on an amendment aimed at making it more hard to leave the European Union without a deal.

Rebel Conservative MPs have joined forces with Labour to inflict a fresh blow on Theresa May's government in a Commons Brexit vote. The vote had originally been slated for December but was postponed after it became clear the government would be defeated.

"We are doing everything we can to win the meaningful vote that happens on Tuesday", the prime minister's spokesman said. It states that if May loses the vote next week, she must explain her next steps within three parliamentary sitting days - by the latest, Monday January 21.

Other MPs would be in favour of a second referendum but such a move would likely cause outrage among Brexit voters and raise the issue of the framing of the question. "And so I can tell the house that in the event that our future relationship or alternative arrangements are not ready by the end of 2020, parliament will have a vote on whether to seek to extend the implementation period, or bring the backstop into effect".

The Times leads on Mrs May's Brexit plans, which the paper says are in "tatters" after Conservative remainers discussed an alternative with their Labour colleagues. Labour's Brexit spokesman Sir Keir replied: 'If we are to leave other than without a deal there has to be a consensus in this House for something'.

In a further attempt to win over sceptical MPs, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told MPs the government would accept an amendment to the Brexit deal motion tabled by former Tory minister Sir Hugo Swire.

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Conservative MP David Morris accused Bercow of behaving like "Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector" - a stinging insult considering Cromwell's treatment of Parliament.

May is hosting several drinks parties for lawmakers this week in a bid to win them round, arguing her deal is the best compromise that ends European Union membership while protecting jobs.

Groups of MPs have raised several options, including a Norway-style arrangement that would see Britain remain outside EU institutions, such as the European Court of Justice, but within the European single market, which provides for the free movement of goods, services and people.

It took place at the start of five days of debate in the Commons after she dramatically pulled a vote last month following a warning by the whips that she was facing certain defeat. Still, more have suggested the country leave without a deal and then negotiate a trade agreement.

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the EU is "happy" to give assurances that they "don't want to trap the United Kingdom into anything" in response to claims the Irish border backstop could be used to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union.

"A government that can not get its business through the Commons is no government at all", he will say.

"If the government can not pass its most important legislation, then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will say, according to the text of a speech he will deliver in Wakefield, northern England, extracts of which were released by Labour.

He wrote: "Parliament can establish that it wants no deal to be ruled out".

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