Rejecting my deal could lead to 'no Brexit', warns May

Four Brexiteers have pledged to vote for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement

Four Brexiteers have pledged to vote for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement

These Brexiteers want to use the likely defeat to show that the government must take a radically different path - and leave the European Union without a negotiated deal.

Mrs May said that the House had spoken and the government would listen, but added: "It is clear that the House does not support this deal but tonight's vote tells us nothing about what it does support". As you said I think it's unlikely to succeed but we have got to see if a general election could resolve the issue.

"It is not flawless but when the history books are written, people will look at the decision of this House tomorrow and ask "did we deliver on the country's vote to leave the EU, did we safeguard our economy, security or union or did we let the British people down".

In a tweet, Tusk also pointed out that the United Kingdom could unilaterally withdraw its notification to leave the EU: "If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?"

Later, addressing the Parliamentary Labour Party on the eve of today's crucial vote, Mr Corbyn predicted that Mrs May's deal would be defeated - and said the country should have a general election.

The Opposition Labour Party has said it will call a vote of no confidence in the government if May's deal is rejected, but has not specified exactly when. A defeat on Tuesday would throw Brexit plans into disarray just weeks before the due to leave the bloc on March 29.

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Alternatively, she could to bring back the deal to the House for a second - or possibly even a third - time in an attempt to wear down the opposition.

May said rejecting her deal would lead either to a reversal of Brexit - overturning voters' decision in a 2016 referendum - or to Britain leaving the bloc without a deal, a course that would damage the country's economy, security and unity.

Believing the claims that European Union membership is a means of opposing the xenophobia and right-wing reaction that characterises Brexit demands only a wilful blindness to the EU's long record of crimes against refugees and to the growth of far-right movements such as the Alternative for Germany, France's National Rally, and their taking a governmental role in Italy, Austria, Hungary and elsewhere.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the government's de facto partners since May lost a parliament majority in 2017 snap elections, also said they would vote against the deal, as they are unhappy about its backstop article.

Rees-Mogg's European Research Group triggered a vote of no confidence in May in December, but she won and secured her leadership for another 12 months. By a wafer thin margin they have enough votes to defeat Corbyn. But the move would be politically perilous for May as the pro-Brexit faction of her party would see it as a betrayal.

"If and when this deal is voted down let us not continue to flog this dead horse".

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The scale of the defeat will make it hard for her to present anything similar to the deal so overwhelmingly rejected on Tuesday.

May said if she survived the no-confidence vote, she will hold talks with the other parties to see what solution might be acceptable and that she will then go back - again - to the European Union to consider new plans.

HuffPost UK reported on Monday how cabinet ministers are ready to back plans to compel May to implement whatever "Plan B" Brexit wins the backing of parliament.

However, not all MPs oppose the deal and according to one Scottish Conservative MP, the Prime Minister should ignore her party's "hard-line Brexiteers" and pass a Brexit deal with support from other parties.

Another possibility is that parliament could force a second referendum, or - least likely of all - scrap Brexit altogether.

On January 17, 2017, May gives a speech setting out her Brexit strategy, saying Britain will also leave Europe's single market in order to control immigration.

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