Britain was plunged into political crisis last night as Theresa May all but lost control of Brexit after a second huge Commons defeat for her deal. The prime minister will confront MPs today with the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal, including new tariffs and plans for the border in Ireland. Parliament will then vote on whether the country should leave without an agreement on March 29. If MPs block no-deal they will be asked tomorrow whether Britain should seek an Article 50 extension from the EU, for how long and for what purpose. The cabinet is meeting early today amid speculation that a delegation of senior Tories may ask Mrs May to resign this week.
Theresa May has finally lost control of Brexit after her deal was once again defeated in parliament by a huge margin on a catastrophic night for her plans. She must now let MPs decide whether to rule out a no-deal Brexit and has been forced to allow her ministers to vote as they wish to stop a devastating public split in her cabinet. In a humiliating Commons speech the prime minister said with a broken voice that she will also let the Commons vote on delaying the UK’s departure beyond 29 March and agreed to enact whatever was decided.
THERESA MAY suffered a second heavy defeat over her Brexit deal tonight after 391 MPs voted against it. A majority of 149 MPs voted against accepting the Withdrawal Agreement as just 242 MPs voted for it. This means that 81 MPs changed their mind in favour of the plan since the first vote on their deal took place in January, when it was rejected by a massive 230 vote majority. MPs will be voting on Wednesday on whether to leave the EU on a “no-deal” basis. If that is voted down, then they would vote on whether to extend Article 50.
EXPRESS.CO.UK readers roundly rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal yesterday, with the vast majority saying they would have voted against it. MPs later followed suit to deliver the Prime Minister a shocking Brexit defeat in the House of Commons. The online poll, which went live at 4.30pm, saw almost 80 percent of voters say they would block the Prime Minister’s divorce deal. As of 9.30pm, 6,639 readers had voted in the poll. Some 5,310 said “no” when asked “would you vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal?” while just 1,089 said “yes” and 240 people said “don’t know”.
A group of MPs including Brexiteers Steve Baker and Iain Duncan Smith alongside Remainers Damian Green and Nicky Morgan, plus the DUP’s Westminster Leader Nigel Dodds, are tabling a ‘Malthouse Compromise’ Plan B amendment. It contains four measures that include the British government publishing its post-Brexit trade tariff schedules “immediately” and seeks an extension of Article 50 until 22nd May. The plan would also offer “mutual standstill agreements” with the European Union for a period until the end of 2021 at the latest with discussions on the future relationship and the UK contributing financially in the meantime.
Europe’s most senior bureaucrat, who is a well-known opponent of Brexit and allegedly wishes the process to go as badly as possible to act as a deterrent to others leaving the bloc, is ready to allow the United Kingdom to delay the official departure day by 12 months or more. German lawyer Martin Selmayr, who became Secretary General of the European Commission after a controversial and contested appointment in February 2018, is prepared to allow the United Kingdom to draw out its own torture at the hands of the European Union by an extra 12 months or more, according to sources quoted by London’s The Times newspaper.
Hardcore Brexiteers have thrown their weight behind a plan for a no-deal Brexit – but want it delayed until May. Senior Tory eurosceptics, the DUP leader in Westminster Nigel Dodds and moderate Leaver leader Simon Hart have signed up to an amendment to be tabled by former Brexit minister Steve Baker. It would alter the terms of the no-deal Brexit plan to be voted on tomorrow to extend Article 50 until 10.59pm on May 22 before we leave without a deal.
Eurosceptic Conservatives have insisted they could still force a no-deal Brexit even if the House of Commons votes on Wednesday against crashing out of the EU without a deal. Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group (ERG), said it was a “serious point” that the risk of a softer Brexit or a second referendum may have increased after the deal’s defeat, but he believed most MPs considered a no-deal exit more likely.
Theresa May is expected to vote against Britain leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement in a Commons vote this evening. The news was broken by Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Tim Shipman shortly after the Prime Minister had suffered her second humiliating defeat over her Brexit deal last night, losing by 149 votes. In a week of crucial parliamentary votes determining the future of Brexit, the Prime Minister informed the House that the vote on No Deal will be a free vote for her Conservative colleagues.
Theresa May has confirmed Tory MPs will get a free vote on No Deal Brexit tomorrow. The Prime Minister made the concession to avoid a new mutiny – and a string of resignations – after she suffered another embarrassing drubbing from MPs on her Brexit deal. Speaking after losing the vote by 391 to 242, she said: “I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken tonight.” Mrs May tabled a motion that confirmed the promised vote on no-deal would go ahead tomorrow.
PRIME MINISTER Theresa May’s Brexit deal was dealt another crushing blow in Parliament on Tuesday, and sources now say a snap election is imminent. Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which she battled for with the EU for the past two years, has again brought her government a humiliating loss. Defeated by a margin of 149 votes, the deal is being described as “dead” by the opposition. A vote on whether MPs want to leave the EU without a deal is next, but the future beyond that remains very unclear.
A senior Conservative MP has called for a General Election if Theresa May’s EU deal is rejected for a second time, as seems likely later today. Charles Walker, the MP for Broxbourne who has a senior role on the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, has said: “If it doesn’t go through as sure as night follows day there will be a General Election within a matter of days or weeks. It is not sustainable.” “We cannot continue to behave like this as a government. It is not fit for purpose. “We are not doing what we need to do, which is govern the country properly. We are letting country down. If we have to have an election then that is what we have to do.”
Ministers and senior Tories were questioning how long Theresa May can survive after a leading Conservative MP asked whether there should be a general election. The cabinet will meet at 8am today to sign off Philip Hammond’s spring statement before a potentially acrimonious discussion on Brexit amid growing pressure for a delegation to tell the prime minister to go. Senior cabinet figures are angry about Mrs May’s tactics and increasingly questioning whether she can be allowed to decide a way forward after last night’s defeat.
PRIME MINISTER Theresa May suffered another devastating blow to her Brexit deal in the House of Commons tonight. So will she resign now? MPs had their second opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal on Tuesday night, and again, it was crushed. The margin was slightly smaller this time – January’s vote was lost by 230, and tonight’s 149 – but the outcome is the same: the deal, as it stands, has no hope of being accepted by Parliament.
THERESA May could face being sacked this morning as odds have been slashed on the PM to resign as she suffered a crushing defeat over Brexit. The Prime Minister was crushed again after failing to secure meaningful reassurances from the EU on her deal, the Withdrawal Agreement. May lost another key vote in the House of Commons last night after failing to win support of the hard Brexit faction within the Tories – with 75 MPs rebelling against the PM. And her fragile government’s coalition partners the DUP also refused to back the deal. Leading bookies Coral have slashed odds on May leaving her position today to just 3/1 as they correctly predicted the failure of the deal.
Jeremy Corbyn renewed his calls for another general election and demanded that a no-deal Brexit be ‘taken off the table’ after Theresa May’s plan suffered another crushing defeat in the House of Commons. The Labour leader said the PM’s withdrawal agreement was ‘dead’ and vowed to oppose a cliff-edge Brexit, which MPs will vote on tonight. He also called for a vote on Labour’s Brexit plan, but declined to back a second referendum despite ongoing calls from many of his party’s supporters. Raising a point of order after MPs voted by 391 votes to 242 against the deal, he said: ‘The Government has been defeated again by an enormous majority.
Ministers will today reveal the secret tariffs and Irish border plans which would come into force in a no-deal Brexit, as MPs prepare to vote on the prospect tonight after once again rejecting Theresa May’s withdrawal deal. The plans, due to be revealed at 7am, will also set out the sensitive details of how the Government would manage the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic – the issue which has left Mrs May’s plans in ruins.
The pound rose sharply against the euro after Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected for a second time tonight, as investors appeared to think the chances of a delay had risen. The currency reached €1.16 in the moments after MPs rejected the amended withdrawal agreement, restoring some of the losses made this morning. The pound also spiked against the U.S. dollar, reaching $1.33, as Mrs May confirmed she would ask for an Article 50 extension if MPs supported one on Thursday.
What a difference 24 hours makes. This time on Monday investors were buying the pound, sterling was strengthening and had momentum – the markets seemed to believe that the prime minister had managed to secure a revised deal that addressed the headache of the “backstop” and might actually clear the Commons. At 8am on Tuesday £1 was worth $1.32. That’s when Jon Snow – the Channel 4 presenter – tweeted that the he’d heard the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, had indicated there remained a risk that Britain would find itself stuck in an eternal customs union with the EU
The EU can do nothing more to break the Brexit deadlock in the House of Commons, the European Commission and the president of the European Council said after MPs rejected Mrs May’s deal by a huge margin for the second time on Tuesday night. “On the EU side we have done all that is possible to reach an agreement. It is difficult to see what more we can do. If there is a solution to the current impasse it can only be found in London,” said Donald Tusk’s spokesman.
Donald Tusk has warned after the second big defeat of Theresa May’s deal that he expects a credible reason for any delay to Brexit. Moments after the prime minister announced that the House of Commons would vote on an extension to the article 50 negotiating period beyond 29 March, the European council president issued an EU red line. “Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity,” a spokesman for Tusk said. “The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration.
The European Union will put a no-deal Brexit back on the table even if MPs vote to instruct the government to rule it out, Brussels diplomats have warned. Theresa May is expected to be forced to ask EU leaders at a summit next week for a short delay to Brexit of between six weeks and three months after her withdrawal agreement was rejected in the House of Commons last night. A vote to rule out a no-deal Brexit is scheduled to take place today but the prime minister is likely to face a rebuff because of EU frustration with Britain’s political chaos and because some European governments are considering the merits of a “clean break” no-deal Brexit on March 29.
The EU last night warned it was prepared to play hardball over any request for a Brexit delay. Warning that Britain would need ‘credible justification’ for extra time, EU leaders said the UK was now closer to a No Deal Brexit than ever before – with no guarantees that an extension to avoid a cliff-edge exit would even be granted. It is likely that any request for a delay could come with significant conditions attached. Following the second crushing defeat of Theresa May’s deal last night, the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier led the warnings that Britain should not automatically expect an extension if it asks for one.
While Prime Minister Theresa May has opened the possibility of ruling out making a clean break of the EU and of extending Brexit, Eurocrats are telling Britain to get ready for a no deal exit on March 29th. After Mrs May lost the second vote on her Withdrawal Agreement Tuesday night, defeated by 391 to 242 votes, the prime minister maintains that the UK should leave the EU with a deal. Tomorrow, MPs will vote on whether to leave without a deal on the 29th of March. “If the House declines to approve leaving without a deal on the 29th of March, the Government will bring forward a motion on Thursday on whether Parliament wants to seek an extension to Article 50,”
Brussels has washed its hands of trying to help Theresa May get her Brexit deal through parliament, warning that it is up to the UK to either pass the agreement or not. Immediately after MPs rejected the withdrawal package for the second time on Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for European Council president Donald Tusk said that the EU had “done all that is possible to reach an agreement”. “Given the additional assurances provided by the EU in December, January, and yesterday, it is difficult to see what more we can do. If there is a solution to the current impasse it can only be found in London,” he told reporters in Brussels.
JEAN Claude Juncker today made a tasteless joke about Theresa May as she fought for her political life to save Brexit. The EU Commission boss told MPs he “didn’t sleep much last night because of Mrs May” after the pair were locked in late night talks in Strasbourg yesterday “I’ll let you in on a secret,” he told MEPs earlier. But he did say his sleep was “long enough to be able to dream of Slovakia”. Talks finally broke up just before midnight in France yesterday. The pair then went on to go and do a press conference to waiting reporters over what they’d signed up to. Mrs May managed to get the bloc to sign up to legally binding tweaks to the deal, and put out a statement saying the UK could try and pull out of the hated backstop if we got trapped.
The UK’s new post-Brexit blue passports will not be available to all until next year, it emerged last night. British passports were dark blue from the inception of the old design in 1920, until 1988 when they were changed to burgundy in line with most EU passports. A return to dark blue passports was announced two years ago by the Immigration Minister who said people wanted to ‘see that things are different’ following the vote to leave the European Union.
Men suffering from prostate cancer will be able to use an online calculator to predict their chances of survival and how much their condition would be improved by treatment. Patients will be able to make a personalised decision on whether the side-effects of treatment are worthwhile by putting a few numbers into a web form, scientists say. Predict Prostate, launched on an NHS website yesterday, shows that some men are seven times more likely to benefit from surgery or radiotherapy than others with different types of tumours.
The ‘no-drone zone’ around UK airports is extended today to just over three miles. New legislation to introduce the change, widening the exclusion zone from 1km to 5km, follows the chaos at Gatwick in December which saw around 1,000 flights grounded after drone sightings. In total there were 125 near-misses between drones and aircraft reported last year – up 34 per cent on 2017. Anyone caught recklessly or negligently endangering an aircraft with a drone can be jailed for up to five years. From November, owners of larger gadgets will be required to register them.
The drone no-fly zone around airports has been extended to protect aircraft. New legislation banning the gadgets from being flown within 5km (3.1 miles) of airports came into force on Wednesday. Previously, only a 1km (0.6 mile) zone was in place. Drone sightings at London Gatwick in December caused around 1,000 flights to be cancelled or diverted over 36 hours, affecting more than 140,000 passengers in the run-up to Christmas.
RUSSIA will deploy underwater submarines armed with nuclear drones capable of causing a 300ft radioactive tsunami, state media reports. The so-called Poseidon strategic missiles, carrying up to 200 megaton warheads, will be deployed by 2020 and could wipe out the likes of Los Angeles, according to reports. Putin’s military plans to deploy the weapons on the new Project 09852 sub Belgorod – a converted nuclear-powered submarine. Russia’s state-owned news agency Tass, citing a Moscow defence source, claims the underwater warships could carry six of the Poseidon torpedoes.