Published: Fri, March 15, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn says a Brexit delay is now 'inevitable'

Jeremy Corbyn says a Brexit delay is now 'inevitable'

The deal was defeated in the Commons on Tuesday evening by 149 votes.

May's predecessor, David Cameron, who held the European Union referendum in an effort to unite his party which has always been sharply divided over Europe, made a rare appearance and told Sky News: "I have always supported the Prime Minister in her attempts to have a close partnership deal with Europe and she continues to have my support".

"The prime minister has been stubbornly declaring that the only choice is between her deal and no deal", Corbyn said.

But although she managed to convince about 40 Tory MPs to change their mind, it was not almost enough to overturn the historic 230 vote defeat she suffered on the same deal in January. "Tonight she's not even showing the leadership to whip on no deal".

Mrs May, who is now chairing a cabinet meeting, has said Tory MPs will get a free vote on Wednesday evening's motion. She replied: "I will be voting for the motion standing in my name".

"It's time that we have a general election and the people can choose who their government should be", Corbyn said on Tuesday after May suffered a humiliating 391 to 242 defeat when her Brexit deal was rejected by Parliament for a second time.

May told Bone this was not realistic: "The EU have made it clear there will be no agreement without a withdrawal agreement, and that includes what we have already negotiated on citizens' rights, a financial settlement and a Northern Ireland protocol".

Labour has called for no-deal to be "taken off the table" - and said it would continue to push its alternative Brexit proposals, including a customs union.

But despite the growth in support for her deal, Conservative Home pointed out that 56% of respondents are still opposed to the revised deal.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told BBC News Parliament would increasingly "set the agenda" if the government was not in control of events.

Battling a sore throat, she said: "I may not have my own voice but I understand the voice of the country". "This is a rudderless government in the face of a huge national crisis".

The plan, known as the Malthouse compromise, is backed by Brexiteer members of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, as well as the DUP and former Remain ministers like Nicky Morgan and Damian Green.

The Commons votes mean that MPs will vote on an extension to Article 50 on Thursday, potentially delaying Brexit until May or later, and leaving the whole process in doubt.

Under a temporary scheme 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access - up from 80% at present.

Within government, there is renewed optimism that success is possible.

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