Blue-on-blue fire over the Government’s pulling of the meaningful vote which was due today.
The Leader of the Opposition makes his case during today’s emergency debate on yesterday’s events.
WATCH: Lidington fires “home truths” at both Conservative and Labour critics of the Prime Minister’s deal
Theresa May’s deputy dismissed WTO Brexit, Norway, Canada, and a second referendum in short order.
He defended the absent Prime Minister with decency and moderation, but neither Labour nor Conservative MPs were persuaded.
Also including: Twickenham, Battersea, Croydon Central, Kingston and Surbiton, and Dewsbury.
Let us hope not. It’s unlikely, but not completely impossible. The Government must battle four trends to reduce the risk.
Further details enclosed.
“I don’t regret calling the referendum, I made a promise to call the referendum and I called the referendum.”
Is she chickening out on Brexit? Or playing chicken with Commons and Party over her deal? Or merely a headless chicken herself – bent on daily survival?
Meanwhile, there is little common ground in which to find a solution which would satisfy many Remainers and Leavers simultaneously.
Henry Newman: There are only two European Council options this week – a managed no deal, or a backstop with an exit
EU leaders should recognise that May is serious in trying to reach a negotiated deal that has a chance of passing Parliament.
Andrew Gimson’s Commons sketch: May provokes derisive laughter and has exhausted the House’s patience
The Prime Minister looked like a straight actor who is appearing in a Christmas pantomime, in order to become the butt of everyone else’s jokes.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle does a Heseltine. It’s a demonstration of left-wing infantilism – and a sign of how fraught the Commons currently is.
The Government should back these sensible plans. We must avoid a repeat of the disruption on the roads that took place in 2015.
He asked May to “tell us at least one action that is now taking place that wasn’t taking place last month”. The Prime Minister reported some letters had been sent.
WATCH: “Bringing back the same botched deal will not change its fundamental flaws” – Corbyn versus May
The Prime Minister replies that “the question Members of this House must ask themselves is whether they wish to deliver Brexit” or not.
He challenges the Prime Minister to call a vote on the matter (one that she will duly ignore).
The Prime Minister challenges her critics in the Commons, while telling them “I have listened.”
“The Government will step up its work in preparation for [no deal] and the Cabinet will hold further discussions on it this week.”
MEANINGFUL VOTE PULLED. 11.15: Prime Minister’s spokesman – yes it’s on. 11.30: Cabinet members – no, it’s off…
May has bowed to the inevitable in a desperate bid to fend off catastrophic defeat – and 48 letters.
The number of Tory MPs who oppose the deal stands at 71. Lamont, Freeman are the latest to say they won’t back it.
Plus a further 41 probable or possible opponents. But such calculations are an art, not a science – and the totals will change.
It’s always the Implementation Period, but never Christmas.
May delays the vote…
“After months of negotiations, the Brexit deal was due to be voted upon today, in order for the United Kingdom’s Parliament to approve or reject Theresa May’s controversial plan. However, yesterday the prime minister dramatically called off the “meaningful vote”, in the face of what had been expected to be a significant defeat at the hands of rebel MPs. The Prime Minister informed the House of Commons that the vote was being pulled in an oral statement at 3.30pm, where she confirmed that she intends to seek further concessions from Brussels to try to win over rebellious backbenchers.” – Daily Telegraph
- Ministers had been saying it would go ahead – Guardian
- Clark pushed for vote on different types of Brexit – FT
- May’s statement – The Times
- Verhofstadt confused. Tusk says no more negotiating – Daily Telegraph
- Juncker says no too – FT
- Knives out for the Chief Whip – The Times
- Russell-Moyle thrown out for the day after mace protest – The Times
- He caused outrage – Daily Mail
- Foster says no to backstop – The Times
- Rees-Mogg speaks of “humiliating day” – Daily Express
- Pound at low – Guardian
- May was right to postpone – Bim Afolami, The Times
- She is in a mess – Nick Timothy, The Sun
- Nobody is ready for Brexit – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
- Labour must oppose it – Paul Mason – Guardian
- MPs need more information before voting – Nicky Morgan, The Times
- ToryDiary: Chicken May
- Andrew Gimson’s Commons sketch: May provokes derisive laughter and has exhausted the House’s patience
- Video: WATCH: “Deeply discourteous” – Bercow slams the Government for pulling the meaningful vote
- MPsEtc: “We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow.” May’s statement. Full text.
- ToryDiary: MEANINGFUL VOTE PULLED. 11.15: Prime Minister’s spokesman – yes it’s on. 11.30: Cabinet members – no, it’s off…
- MPsEtc: The number of Tory MPs who oppose the deal stands at 71. Lamont, Freeman are the latest to say they won’t back it.
…Does this mean Brexit could be delayed, too?
“Brexit could be delayed, senior Tories warned on Monday night, after Theresa May postponed a Commons vote on her deal but refused to say when it would go ahead. The Prime Minister made the last-minute decision to pull Tuesday’s scheduled vote after accepting she was facing a catastrophic defeat if it went ahead. She told MPs she would “go boldly” back to Brussels to seek fresh assurances over the Irish backstop and would begin a tour of European capitals on Tuesday to seek support from EU leaders. However the decision to delay the vote – after two Cabinet ministers were sent to tell the media it was going ahead – was met with confusion, anger and resentment.” – Daily Telegraph
- Fox says we might get “no Brexit at all” – Daily Express
- Some predictions for what’s next – The Times
- ECJ ruled that Britain could reverse Brexit… – The Times
- …But Barclay says we won’t revoke A50 – Daily Telegraph
- Could there be a second referendum? – The Sun
>Today: Lord Ashcroft: My new Brexit poll. People are tipping further away from the Prime Minister’s deal.
The Prime Minister is in the Hague, for start of tour to “beg” for help…
“Theresa May will beg European leaders today to rescue her Brexit deal after becoming the first prime minister for at least 70 years to pause a vote on a major international treaty. Mrs May pulled the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal yesterday afternoon, hours after Downing Street and cabinet ministers insisted she would push ahead, admitting to MPs that it would have been lost by a “significant margin”. She then flew to the Hague ready for talks today with Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, who has proved helpful to her over Brexit. After that she will visit Angela Merkel in Berlin before holding talks with the European Commission in an attempt to rescue her agreement by securing additional “reassurances” on the Northern Ireland backstop.” – The Times
- Rutte will be first person she’ll meet – The Sun
- She’s trying to salvage her deal – Guardian
- Irish say no more negotiations – The Times
- May gets assurances but no promises of renegotiation – FT
- They won’t budge – The Sun
- The backstop is not enough – Nigel Dodds, Daily Telegraph
- May can still make this work – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
- Macron is to blame for all this – Jack Doyle, Daily Mail
…She’ll speak to Merkel next
“Theresa May is heading for emergency Brexit talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today after leaving Westminster in turmoil. The Prime Minister’s move to abandon a crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal drew howls of condemnation from the opposition as well as a number of Tories. Mrs May took the decision to pull the vote, scheduled for Tuesday, as the Prime Minister admitted to MPs she faced a “significant” defeat on her Brexit agenda. The PM will also meet Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in The Hague on Tuesday in a bid to gain reassurances on the exit deal from European leaders ahead of a crunch EU summit on Thursday.” – Belfast Newsletter
- And Juncker – Daily Express
There will be emergency Commons debate this morning
“As a result Parliament will debate the Government’s decision to delay the Brexit deal vote later today, with MPs on all sides of the House set to attack the Government for pulling the vote at the last minute. The Prime Minister announced the vote was being delayed yesterday afternoon, saying that if it went ahead the deal “would be rejected by a significant margin”. Dozens of Conservative backbenchers and the Tories DUP allies had vowed to join Labour in voting down the agreement. House of Commons speaker John Bercow sharply criticised the decision which he termed “deeply discourteous”. He added: “This whole proceeding has been extremely regrettable. “This is not the way the business of the House is ordinarily conducted.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn then requested a Parliamentary debate over the delay.” – Daily Express
- Labour was given the debate – FT
Blunt submits letter bringing public total to 26
“A former minister has revealed he has submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May’s leadership, bringing the total number of Conservative MPs to publicly come out against her to 26. Crispin Blunt said that he was speaking out after Mrs May’s decision to delay a Commons vote on her Brexit deal to spur on fellow Tory MPs. “I want to encourage those who are thinking about it; get it done,” he said. A number of other Tory MPs are thought to be preparing to write to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee and the only person who knows how many letters have been received. Only 48 are needed to trigger a no-confidence vote.” – The Times
Jenkyns: It’s simple. May needs to go
“t was no surprise to me that the Prime Minister decided to postpone the vote on her Withdrawal Agreement. With 100 of her own MPs, plus the DUP, planning to vote against it, a loss on such a scale would have surely meant the end of her premiership. Now she may live to fight another day, but she is only delaying the inevitable while doing further damage to her reputation. Her days in Downing Street are numbered and it is time the country got behind a new leader, one who believes in Brexit. The deal agreed with the EU – Remain masquerading as Leave – is entirely the Prime Minister’s doing and it is obvious she is the wrong person to go back to Europe to attempt to win concessions. For two years, Theresa May has led these botched negotiations and excluded her Brexit secretaries from the process, resulting in the bad deal she still insists is a good one.” – Daily Telegraph
- Yes, this is too much – Ian Lavery, Guardian
Will there be a “snap” leadership contest?
“Livid Tory MPs have vowed to mount a fresh coup to oust Theresa May after her Brexit deal stood on the verge of collapse. Party grandees are already looking at speeding up a snap leadership contest after she dramatically pulled the landmark Commons vote. The Prime Minister delayed it for fresh talks with Brussels but was warned by the EU it will not renegotiate the hated Irish backstop. Downing Street is braced for a no-confidence vote in the PM any time now. Mrs May yesterday became the first PM for at least 70 years to pause a vote on a major international treaty. Her move, demanded by ministers, sparked chaos which worsened when she signalled no new vote would be tabled until January 21. Members of the backbench European Research Group of Tory MPs banged the table in approval last night when told more letters for a no-confidence vote were submitted. Rebels are understood to be five short of the 48 needed to trigger a ballot on her future.” – The Sun
Sturgeon says Corbyn is stalling and May is “kicking can down the road” again
“First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party of stalling on supporting either a parliamentary confidence motion in Theresa May’s leadership or a second referendum. Slamming the leadership of Theresa May, the First Minister said that Labour were the only thing standing in the way a parliamentary majority for a fresh vote on the EU referendum. She told BBC Radio 4: “This shambles simply can’t go on. “The government has had two and a half years to come up with a coherent Brexit plan, it has failed to do so. “Yesterday’s delay of the vote was another kicking of the can down the road, wasting valuable time.” – Herald
- Bailout for Crossrail, mostly from DfT – The Times
News in Brief
May delays the vote… “After months of negotiations, the Brexit deal was due to be voted upon today, in order… Read more »
‘Corbyn by Christmas’ – the latest warning deployed to win support for May’s deal ‘Tory MPs have been warned the… Read more »
May ‘to ‘handbag’ Brussels’ in bid to save deal… “Theresa May will seek to emulate Margaret Thatcher by travelling to… Read more »
Cross-party manoeuvres against May gather steam as Rudd breaks ranks on Norway… “MPs are lining up to sack Theresa May… Read more »
Can a Government-crafted amendment to next week’s vote save May’s face? “However Mrs May would have to ask Parliament’s permission… Read more »