May faces heavy defeat in parliament as Brexit crisis grips Britain

Daniel Fowler
March 10, 2019

He said Leave voters would ultimately hold the Conservative Party responsible for failing to deliver on the 2016 European Union referendum result and the electoral consequences would be "devastating".

Mrs May has said if the Government loses on Tuesday, there would be further votes on Wednesday on whether the United Kingdom should leave with no-deal and on Thursday on whether they should seek an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.

"They've got to recognise her deal isn't going to work, it doesn't get support, and will not get through Parliament".

At the heart of the dispute is a disagreement over how to manage the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

Otherwise, she said, Brexit might never happen and voters would be betrayed.

"Rather than engage constructively to get a deal, bully boy Barnier and the European Union cabal are retreating to a position that Theresa May herself has claimed no UK Prime Minster could sign up to", said Sammy Wilson MP, Brexit spokesman for Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - which supports leaving the European Union and is determined to maintain the Province's status as an integral part of the United Kingdom, in line with the wishes of most of its residents.

"Business is holding its breath ahead of the votes in parliament this week, knowing that if Brexit has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected", said James Stewart, head of Brexit at KPMG UK.

"With a very real deadline looming, now is not the time to rerun old arguments", he said.

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"This degrading proposal, which is a clear attempt to break up the [British] Union, will be rejected by Parliament and rightly so", Wilson vowed.

The DUP was equally unimpressed, with Nigel Dodds, its deputy leader, calling the proposal "neither realistic nor sensible".

Mrs May will hope her threat of the consequences of not supporting her deal will convince enough MPs to rally behind her.

The Foreign Secretary said there was now "wind in the sails" of Remain-backing MPs as he issued a direct plea to Tory Eurosceptics to vote for Theresa May's deal on Tuesday.

"(If there is) a delay to give MPs even more time to decide what we are going to do, the European Union might insist on new conditions that were not in our interest before they agreed to such an extension", Mrs May said.

Since that defeat, May has been trying to get changes to the Irish border backstop but there's no sign of a breakthrough in the increasingly acrimonious negotiations in Brussels.

If that happens, lawmakers will be able to vote on Wednesday and Thursday on whether they want to leave the bloc without a deal, or ask for a delay to Brexit beyond March 29 - all but wresting control of Brexit from the government.

On Sky's Sophy Ridge politics show today, Shadow Brexit minister Keir Starmer pointed out the ludicrousness of the Prime Minister putting forward "exactly the same bill" that the government resoundingly rejected on January 15.

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