Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Labour leader Corbyn demands general election after Theresa May’s Brexit defeat

Labour leader Corbyn demands general election after Theresa May’s Brexit defeat

It's tempting to believe the cliche that in Brexit, nothing ever changes.But after three nights of dramatic, confusing and chaotic votes in the House of Commons, things are looking a little different.

May has said Tory MPs will get a "free vote" on Wednesday evening's motion - and not have to followed instructions from party Whip.

According to a survey by Conservative Home, support for the beleaguered Prime Minister's Brexit deal has actually doubled among Tory party members.

The extension will need to be agreed by all 27 of the other members of the European Union at a meeting on 21 March.

In response, May said only that there would be "hard choices" for MPs, both on the vote over no deal, and if that is ruled out, a vote on Thursday over whether to extend article 50.

EU leaders have warned that Britain will need a "credible justification" to delay its departure from the union. May is running out of time for any meaningful changes to be made to the political declaration accompanying her deal.

While May was reluctant to give a vote on delaying Brexit in the first place, there is widespread relief that she managed to thwart a backbench plan for the Commons to seize control of Brexit from the Government. And based on MPs' objections to her deal to date, it's unclear what could be added in order to turn over such a huge loss.

Labour wants no-deal to be "taken off the table" and is likely to back an amendment - a legislative tool - tabled by MPs Jack Dromey and Caroline Spelman ruling out the United Kingdom leaving without an agreement at any stage in the process.

'While an extension of Article 50 is now inevitable, responsibility for that extension lies exclusively and squarely at the Prime Minister's door'.

Some of them believe it's time now to go hell-for-leather to leave without an overarching deal but move to make as much preparation as possible, and fast. There is increasing concern about whether she can garner support and follow through with Brexit.

She will tell MPs whether she will vote for no deal or not when she opens Wednesday's debate.

Following the vote on the main motion of the day, which was carried by 412 votes to 202, Corbyn spoke to the House, arguing that, "May's deal and no deal are simply no longer an option", after this week's votes.

"But I think we also have to explore other options".

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said the current impasse "can only be solved in the UK" and MPs must decide what they want rather than what they don't. To do this, ministers have promised indicative votes if the Government can't pass a deal - but, importantly, at a time of their choosing.

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