Theresa May aborts planned vote on her Brexit deal
Theresa May has aborted a planned vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday — according to several people close to cabinet ministers — in a humiliating setback for a prime minister who was facing a heavy defeat in the House of Commons.
Update: Theresa May has formally postponed the vote on her Brexit deal, telling MPs it was clear that concern among MPs about the Irish backstop proposals would see it rejected “by a significant margin”.
The vote would thus be deferred and not proceed “at this time”, May told a packed and noisy Commons, giving no details as to when it might take place.
The prime minister said she would instead return to EU member states to seek assurances on the backstop, and ways to “empower” the Commons. – The Guardian
Update: Nicola Sturgeon has appealed to Jeremy Corbyn “work together” to topple Theresa May’s government after a crucial vote on the prime minister’s Brexit deal was abandoned, promising the SNP will support a motion of no confidence if it is tabled by Labour.
The SNP leader said on Twitter: “So @jeremycorbyn – if Labour, as official opposition, lodges motion of no confidence in this incompetent government tomorrow, @theSNP will support & we can then work together to give people the chance to stop Brexit in another vote. This shambles can’t go on – so how about it?”
Update: The Telegraph understands that the Prime Minister had been under pressure from ministers and her chief whip to delay the meaningful vote, potentially until the new year. Her allies fear that a major defeat, possibly by over 100 votes, would make Mrs May’s position untenable. Mr Gove insisted that the vote would go ahead as planned.
In the event that Mrs May did lose the vote but clung on, loyalists in her party are believed to be considering a radical “Plan B” of holding a second referendum with only the PM’s deal and no deal on the ballot.
The shelving of Brexit deal vote is pathetic cowardice from a collapsing Tory government – Nicola Sturgeon
Assuming the reports of Theresa May pulling the vote on her Brexit deal are accurate, this is a watershed moment and an act of pathetic cowardice by a Tory government which has run out of road and is now collapsing into utter chaos.
It is final proof that the interests of a deeply-divided Tory party matter far more to the Prime Minister than people’s jobs and living standards. That is an unforgivable dereliction of responsibility, and the UK Government should now get out of the way and allow others to take charge.
It appears the vote is being delayed because of the Tory party civil war, and in a desperate attempt to save the Prime Minister’s job. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain but yet again our views are being ignored, as they have been throughout this disastrous and incompetent Brexit process.
Downing Street said at 11.15am that the vote was going ahead “as planned” but shortly afterwards the UK prime minister told her cabinet on a conference call it would be postponed, according to officials briefed on the matter. Number 10 has so far declined to comment.
The pound fell 0.7 per cent against the euro to trade at €1.1087 just after midday — its lowest level since September. The currency was also down 0.5 per cent against the US dollar at $1.2662 — the lowest since June 2017.