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




…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

>Today: Henry Newman: There are only two European Council options this week – a managed no deal, or a backstop with an exit

…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

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

More government

  • Bailout for Crossrail, mostly from DfT – The Times 

News in Brief