Economy

Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffers worst defeat in British political history

Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffers worst defeat in British political history

There were 202 votes for the deal but 432 against, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence in the government.

The humiliating rebuff was delivered in the House of Commons just moments after the Prime Minister made a last-ditch appeal for MPs to back the Withdrawal Agreement which she sealed with Brussels in November after nearly two years of negotiation.

However Downing Street has given little indication as to how the Prime Minister intends to proceed if she is defeated.

But critics - including both Brexit supporters and opponents - say that leaving without a deal would be a disaster for the United Kingdom: driving up food prices, leading to shortages of goods and gridlock on some roads in the South East resulting from extra border checks. If that proves impossible, then a general election will be held.

The opposition Labour Party, backed by other smaller opposition parties, has put forward a motion which states "that this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's government".

If a government can not be formed in that time frame, then parliament is dissolved and an early general election will be triggered. "Noticeably, 118 from the Conservatives rebelled against official party policy".

The thinking is that she will win the confidence vote because her party and the DUP don't want to go to an election.

Mr Corbyn said the confidence vote would allow the Commons to "give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this Government".

Christopher Kirkland: Well, I think throughout this process there has been a tension between the government or the executive and Parliament itself, legislature.

We don't get a free trade deal with the EU.

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May argues that defeating the deal could open the way for EU-backing legislators to block Brexit, with "catastrophic" results for Britons' faith in democracy.

"The PM and the government will listen to colleagues as we right seek to secure a majority to deliver the democratic will of the British public in the further votes expected next week".

Theresa May has urged MPs to take "a second look" at the Brexit deal that she negotiated with the European Union, suggesting a referendum on a united Ireland would become more likely if they rejected it.

In what she described as the "biggest and most important decision that any MP of our generation will be asked to make", the Prime Minister said it was time for politicians to "deliver" for the people. May postponed a vote on the deal in December to avoid certain defeat, and there are few signs sentiment has changed significantly since then.

"It is also time for Jeremy Corbyn to find his backbone, drop his plans for a Labour-led Brexit, and back our calls for a People's Vote".

Mrs May is likely to win the no-confidence vote, which was tabled by Mr Corbyn in the immediate aftermath of the vote, because the DUP and Tory Brexiteers have already pledged to back her. A defeat on Tuesday would throw Brexit plans into disarray just weeks before the U.K.is due to withdraw from the bloc.

With Tuesday's vote, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit increased again.

"We need to stay close to the British government and European Union partners - but shouldn't respond in knee-jerked or any panicked way".

"The economic damage which it will do to us will be huge, so that the most vulnerable in our society will be those who suffer most as a outcome", Grieve said.