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

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An anti Brexit demonstrator holds the European Union and England flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London

The government was defeated on Wednesday over its Brexit plans for the second time in 24 hours.

She pulled a scheduled parliamentary vote on the brokered withdrawal agreement last month, admitting it lacked the required support.

Furthermore, it is expected that if and when Mrs May produces an alternative plan, the Speaker will again incur the wrath of Government ministers and loyal Tories by ruling that MPs can seek to amend the PM's new proposal, meaning that a range of options, including extending Article 50 and staging a People's Vote, could be put forward.

The Speaker sparked angry scenes yesterday when he defied the advice of officials to allow an amendment by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, which will force Mrs May to come back to Parliament by January 21 with a Plan B if she loses next week.

The defeat highlights May's weak position as leader of a minority government, a divided party, and a critical parliament just days before she is due to hold a pivotal vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU.

During various points of order, he said he allowed the amendment to be voted on "not because I am setting myself up against the Government, but because I am championing the rights of the House of Commons".

"The work to secure those assurances is ongoing", her spokesman said, adding that the prime minister hoped to have something to offer MPs before next week's vote.

The government needs 318 votes to get a deal through parliament as seven Sinn Fein lawmakers do not sit, four speakers and deputy speaker do not vote and the four tellers are not counted. May presents. That clears the way for MPs to propose everything from a second referendum on Brexit to delaying the country's departure from the European Union and even cancelling Brexit altogether.

Critics of Mr Corbyn's leadership say he is reluctant to go down this route because, if he fails, pressure will increase on him to endorse calls by many of his MPs - and what polls suggest is a majority of party members - for another referendum.

Labour said if the vote is lost, it would hold a vote of no confidence in May, which if passed would nearly certainly trigger a general election.

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"Whilst this amendment only applies to the Finance Bill, and whilst there are still a wide range of different views on the best way forward, it shows that enough MPs (lawmakers) are ready to come together in a sensible way to oppose a chaotic No Deal".

Mrs May's attempts to win over MPs were further thwarted on Wednesday after the DUP dismissed new assurances over the controversial backstop element of the withdrawal agreement as "meaningless".

Members of May´s own Conservative party led the revolt amid fears that the current timetable takes Britain too close to crashing out of the European Union on March 29 with no deal at all.

Conservative MP David Morris accused Bercow of behaving like "Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector" - a stinging insult considering Cromwell's treatment of Parliament.

If May losses her "meaningful vote" on Brexit Tuesday it opens the way for the Commons to vote on alternatives, including a managed no-deal or even a second referendum.

The government had also been defeated on Tuesday night as MPs sent a powerful signal they will not accept a "no-deal" Brexit.

Business secretary and Kent MP Greg Clark says uncertainty over Brexit is causing mounting alarm amongst companies and investors in the UK.

"If the government can not pass its most important legislation, then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will say, according to the text of a speech he will deliver in Wakefield, northern England, extracts of which were released by Labour.

Mrs May retorted: "The only way to avoid no-deal is to vote for the deal".

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