Brexit: MPs defeat government over no-deal preparations

Theresa May tells MPs 'see you next Tuesday' as Brexit vote confirmed

The vote came hard on the heels of Tuesday night's Commons defeat for the Government on a motion meant to limit its powers to change taxes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

There were turbulent scenes in Parliament when some in May's Conservative Party accused the speaker of bias.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office had played down the technical impact of defeat.

In a further attempt to win over sceptical MPs, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told MPs the government would accept an amendment to the Brexit deal motion tabled by former Tory minister Sir Hugo Swire.

"We are talking about 79 days until potentially crashing out of Europe without a deal - should our focus not be on the detail and the arguments about the process in this place, but getting on with a plan B if Parliament decides the government's plan is not the one for the people?".

May has repeatedly ruled out delaying Brexit, though she has also warned British lawmakers that if they reject her deal then Brexit could be derailed or the United Kingdom could leave without a deal.

The vote was originally timetabled for December but was postponed by the government when it became clear that the deal would be rejected.

That deal includes a 585-page withdrawal agreement that outlines the terms of Britain's departure, and a 26-page declaration that sets out a framework for future negotiations on a broad agreement covering trade and a host of other issues.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said history will take "a dim view" of the PM's Cabinet if it presses ahead with a no-deal Brexit if MPs vote against her agreement next week.

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Late Tuesday, legislators backed an amendment to the Finance Bill that puts roadblocks in the way of government spending on no-deal Brexit measures.

"I disagree with that, and so I think do the vast majority of Members of Parliament. Obviously she has had a lot of important discussions over the Christmas break with other European leaders and I'm sure she would want to update parliament".

May insisted Wednesday that "further clarification" from the European Union was possible, "and those talks will continue over the next few days".

But northern Irish politicians were swift to dismiss her proposals to offer Northern Ireland a "strong voice and role in any decision to bring the backstop into effect".

Sammy Wilson, the party's Brexit spokesman, said the only thing that could swing the DUP around is if the backstop were removed.

But, these were immediately rejected by the Tories' DUP allies, who prop up Mrs May's government at Westminster.

May has warned that if MPs reject her deal, Britain would still leave the European Union on March 29, with or without any new arrangements.

The government needs 318 votes to get a deal through the 650-seat House of Commons, as seven members of Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein do not sit, four Speakers and deputy Speakers do not vote, and the four tellers are not counted.

Nevertheless the vote will be seen as another blow to the Prime Minister's authority as she struggles to win support for her Withdrawal Agreement. But there is little indication that many MPs have been swayed and the deal is nearly certain to be defeated on Tuesday. Ms.

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