Humiliation for Theresa May as her Brexit deal is crushed
The Prime Minister has been handed a 432-202 defeat in the House of Commons
Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May’s Government after the Prime Minister was handed a crushing defeat in the crunch vote on her Brexit deal.
The Labour leader said the confidence vote would allow the Commons to ‘give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this Government’.
MPs overwhelmingly rejected the PM’s agreement by 432 votes to 202, the worst defeat suffered by a UK Government in more than 100 years.
The Prime Minister is set to head back to Brussels in yet another attempt to secure concessions from the EU on the deal – something EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has repeatedly said he is not willing to do.
What happens next?
Downing Street has given little indication as to how the prime minister intends to proceed if she is defeated.
Under the terms of an amendment passed last week, Mrs May must table a motion on her Plan B by Monday – although in practice she is unlikely to want to wait that long.
Some reports have suggested she could fly to Brussels – possibly as early as Wednesday – in an attempt wring further concessions on the crucial issue of the backstop.
A senior EU Commission official confirmed that Jean-Claude Juncker has pulled out of an event tomorrow in order to be in Brussels to deal with Brexit.
Following further talks it is likely that MPs will vote on the deal again in a matter of days.
Will Brexit be delayed?
It is possible that the PM could delay Brexit by seeking an extension to Article 50 if her deal is defeated to allow more time to tinker with the Withdrawal Agreement.
Mrs May’s tone on extending Article 50 has notably softened this week. She continues to say she does not believe doing so would be a good idea, but is not categorically ruling it out.
The EU would have to agree to this, as Britain cannot extend Article 50 without their permission.