May offers cross-party Brexit talks after surviving confidence vote

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why do so many people talk about a'hard Brexit and a'soft Brexit

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Why do so many people talk about a'hard Brexit and a'soft Brexit

To find a defeat in the U.K.'s recent political history comparable to May's 230 vote drubbing, one has to look back to 1924, according to the British Institute for Government, which appraised records since 1918.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the no confidence vote after sounding off on May's "catastrophic defeat" on her Brexit deal Tuesday.

The prime minister said the meetings she had held so far had been "constructive" and that she - along with other senior government representatives - would be meeting with other MPs in the coming days to get the "widest possible views across parliament" on Brexit.

May's Brexit agreement was created to keep trade rules between the world's fifth-biggest economy and its largest export market nearly unchanged for a transition period running through the end of 2020.

It comes after some opponents criticised her for not budging from the deal that had alienated all sides in Parliament.

All 27 European Union leaders would have to sign off a Brexit date postponement in case May requests one - something she has until now refused to do.

Even the most optimistic members of May's inner circle didn't think the government could win the so-called "meaningful vote". She has until Monday to present Parliament with a new Brexit deal.

Jeremy Corbyn came under immediate pressure to back a second European Union referendum after his bid to force Theresa May from power failed.

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Around 45 of them gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday morning to display a banner reading: "Labour MPs, MEPs, conference and members agree - The people should have the final say".

"That's why I am inviting MPs from all parties to come together to find a way forward".

He said: "She didn't take the chance which she could have taken right back at the beginning to try and forge some kind of cross-party consensus which reflected the very narrow win by the "Leave" campaign, but instead interpreted the referendum result as an overwhelming endorsement of a "hard Brexit".

A motion passed at the party's conference last autumn made clear that a general election is Labour's priority, but stated that if this was not possible, the party would "support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".

The motion was tabled tabled on Tuesday by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after 432 MPs voted against the Brexit deal.

European leaders are now preparing for the worst, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was still time for further talks. There is now no support in parliament for any form of deal, which makes a "no-deal Brexit" the default option.

"Time is nearly up", he said.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc is stepping up preparations for a chaotic "no-deal" departure after Parliament's actions left the bloc "fearing more than ever that there is a risk" of a cliff-edge departure.

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The prime minister said an election "would deepen division when we need unity, it would bring chaos when we need certainty, and it would bring delay when we need to move forward".

But her measured remarks contrasted with the blunt message from French President Emmanuel Macron, who told Britons to "figure it out yourselves".

Staring directly at Corbyn, May said that everyone who thought they could go to Brussels and get a better deal was deluding themselves.

This would mean overnight European Union laws and customs and the free movement of goods, services and people will cease. It is a deal that satisfies no-one, and does not give the assurances that businesses have been asking for.

"The time is now to pivot to support a public vote on whether we should accept the deal or remain in the European Union", said Mike Buckley, director of Labour for a People's Vote.

However, Norway can negotiate trade deals with other countries around the world, which would appeal to pro-Brexit supporters.

"The backstop which we agreed to with the United Kingdom must remain a backstop". Should this also fail, the Government would have another three weeks to come back with another alternative.

Speaking outside Number 10, Mrs May said: "I understand that to people getting on with their lives away from Westminster, the events of the past 24 hours will have been unsettling".

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