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tv   BBC News Special Brexit Deal Votes  BBC News  January 29, 2019 6:00pm-9:02pm GMT

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this is a bbc news special. i'm christian fraser live at westminster, ahead of crucial votes in the house of commons, which could decide the fate of theresa may's brexit deal. the prime minister tells mps that she will seek binding changes to the backstop guarantee on the irish border and demands they give her the clearest possible mandate to secure changes from the eu. what i am talking about is not a further exchange of letters but a significant and legally—binding change to the withdrawal agreement. negotiating such a change will not be easy, it will involve reopening the withdrawal agreement, a move for which i know there is limited appetite among our european partners. but for labour, jeremy corbyn repeated his demand for ruling out a no—deal brexit and said a delay was now inevitable. it is quite clear to me that the first duty we have is to block a disastrous no deal. and i hope that amendments to that effect will indeed be carried by the house later
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this evening. this is the scene live in the house of commons where mps are continuing to debate the amendments to the brexit withdrawal bill — voting takes place from 7pm this evening. the eu had been made aware of the prime minister's statement beforehand. we'll be asking how likely it is that the withdrawal agreement might be reopened. good evening and welcome to westminster where, in one hour's time, mps in the commons will start a series of votes on the future direction of brexit. they've been debating all afternoon — a short debate, some commentators say, considering the magnitude of what's at stake — with a series of amendments to consider. the one with the backing of number ten calls for "alternative arrangements" for the so—called northern ireland backstop.
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but they range from ruling out a no—deal withdrawalfrom the eu, through delaying article 50, to urging parliamentary debate of a possible second referendum. the prime minister has called on mps to give her the "clearest possible mandate" to ask the eu to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. our political correspondent, chris mason, reports now on where we are, since the withdrawal deal was first rejected by parliament two weeks ago. this was parliament a fortnight ago. drama, jeopardy, global attention and a crushing defeat for the government's brexit plan. and so, here we go again, as parliament gets to spell out its views on possible solutions. there will be votes here tonight on what are known as amendments. the labour mp yvette cooper has suggested brexit should be delayed until the end of the year, unless there's a deal by the end of next month. a conservative and labour mp have teamed up to try to stop a no—deal brexit, where the uk leaves without an overarching plan, and the senior conservative sir graham brady wants
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the controversial backstop removed — that's the insurance policy to keep the border with ireland open — and for it to be replaced with something else. the government is keen on this last one, and is trying to persuade brexiteers to back it too. the prime minister is promising... not a further exchange of letters, but a significant and legally binding change to the withdrawal agreement. negotiating such a change will not be easy. it will involve reopening the withdrawal agreement — a move for which i know there is limited appetite among our european partners. but i believe that with a mandate from this house, and supported by the attorney general, the chancellor of the duchy of lancaster and the secretary of state for exiting the european union, i can secure such a change in advance of our departure from the eu. and listen to this, support from northern ireland's democratic unionist party, who prop up the conservatives in government. and i welcome the fact that she has said in terms that she will go back and seek the reopening of the withdrawal agreement,
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and she can be assured of our support in trying to find a solution which avoids any hard border on the island of ireland, but also avoids any borders within the united kingdom. next up, the labour mp yvette cooper with her plan for a possible delay to brexit if there is no deal within a month. the question here is whether or not she would ever contemplate any extension of article 50 to get a bit more time to sort things out to avoid no deal? yes or no? the prime minister didn't offer a direct answer but labour did. the first duty we have is to block a disastrous no deal. and i hope that amendments to that effect will indeed be carried by the house later this evening. on that point at least the snp agreed. we're used to seeing images of empty shells and war—torn or failing states. there is now a real threat
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of empty shells happening in the united kingdom in less than two months. still the prime minister refuses to take no deal off the table and i point the finger of blame at the prime minister and her government. the conservate mp, who has worked with a neighbouring labour mp from the west midlands to argue against a no—deal brexit has taken to her feet. the government says it is not its policy to leave with no deal, so let's rule it out. the threat of no deal has been used as a stick to get more concessions but, in my view, that card has played out. it has not secured the needed changes as for example on the backstop. the government hopes that after today, the prime minister will have the numerical evidence from in there about what parliament is willing to agree to with brussels. whether the eu would agree to that is a whole thing. —— whole other thing.
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meanwhile, bursting out into the open, a plan hatched by the opposite wings of the conservative party on brexit, who have spent months throwing mud at each other at something of a compromise — an idea of a transition period, running until the end of 2021, and what's described as a "recasting" of that tricky issue of the backstop. there is a conservative whatsapp group in which pretty much most of the conservative party of all views of this are on. it exploded last night with the desire to come together. and i think this is the main bit for the government to take away. ordinary backbenchers said, "we can compromise around this agreement." revoke article 50. yes, tuesday at westminster is onlyjust getting going. chris mason, bbc news, at westminster. we will bring you all the events live from westminster. there are seven amendments in total. lots of them are hanging in the
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balance. conversations going on in the corridors of the palace of westminster, each side trying to bring more mps onto their side. so, our chief political correspondent, vicki young, will be with us this evening. what is an alternative arrangement? that is the question many have been asking. in some ways it is deliberately vague. certain alternatives they are considering, won a unilateral exit from the backstop, one is a time limit and the other is this rather vague alternative arrangement. they are looking at the idea of something which has been put forward by conservative mps on both sides of the argument but that is still down the argument but that is still down the line, i think. what is interesting is two weeks ago is theresa may suffered this huge defeat. she did not go back to brussels at that point but she now
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really is being forced to do so when she will go back and ask them to reopen the deal that was signed and sealed but not delivered for that there is no guarantee of course that there is no guarantee of course that the eu will do that. that is one issue being looked at the other is trying to get no deal off the table. there is still a possibility that parliament does not agree any of these amendments and we end up pretty much where we are. it may not help terribly but i think whatever happens to reason me will go back to russell ‘s at some point, properly later this week. let's talk to philip lee, who is on the remains side of the argument for that you wa nt side of the argument for that you want a second referendum for the work to make of theresa may saying she's going to go back to ask them to reopen the withdrawal agreement? nothing fundamentally has changed. there has been an outbreak of a
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superficial understanding between different wings of my party. when it comes into context with brussels, looks like they will reject the brady amendment which will be passed this evening, possibly. that is why launched a campaign to call a second referendum because ultimately we end up referendum because ultimately we end up witha referendum because ultimately we end up with a no deal all we have to ta ke up with a no deal all we have to take it back to the public. there are attempts tonight to take no deal of the table or to delay brexit. if that cooper delays brexit by nine months if she can get this bill through. how can that help? -- yvette cooper. there will be an extension to article 50, if only to get the legislation through the hold—up in the commons and the lords. her amendment and the dominic grieve amendment is to trying create time in the parliamentary calendar to bring clarity to find out exactly what it is that the
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sick commands a support of the house. at the moment what we have is a withdrawal agreement that is being voted down bya agreement that is being voted down by a historic margin. it is not a deal, the trade deal, it is a divorce agreement and we cannot pass it. what we need to get to is a brexit that is legally and practically deliverable and put that to the public. it will not be the brexit that was sold on the side of the bus. the people calling for a second referendum, the numbers are not there at the moment in the house of commons to get it through those of commons to get it through those of you does not look like an option. theresa may are saying she's going back to brussels, do think she is running down the clock? in brussels they will not open the withdrawal agreement, which means the withdrawal agreement will not pass however many times the prime minister puts it. it means no deal,
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general election putting it back to the public. they are the three choices. nothing that happens this evening will make any difference. i ends my colleagues will continue to put it back to the public because thatis put it back to the public because that is the only way forward. do you think yvette cooper can get her move through parliament? seems not enough labour mps will be willing to back it. do you think parliament has another chance to take no deal off the table before the end of march? legally we will have no deal scenario on march the 29th, 11 legally we will have no deal scenario on march the 29th,11p:m., unless there is primary legislation. ultimately we can pass amendments. i think some amendments will pass this evening... but is not binding. you are right for that that is why i regard it as displacement activity. we are all doing the best we can to deliver for our constituents.
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nobody here isa deliver for our constituents. nobody here is a traitor or being subversive. we are trying to get this right. my judgment subversive. we are trying to get this right. myjudgment is there is no majority for anything that will be delivered for the people. therefore we need to take what is legally and practically deliverable on brexit and put it to the country and let them decide. if theresa may goes to brussels later this week and they simply say, we're not going to open a withdrawal agreement, what does she do then? does she come back to this place and try again?m does she do then? does she come back to this place and try again? it begs the question, what is this all about? i cannot work that out. the contents of this amendment have already been rejected by the other side. is this a game of saying that brussels are trying to tell us what to do? it is all about brussels and nothing to do with here? i do not think so. i think that is what this is about. we are approaching february. i keep being told by colleagues that we need more time and we will get there. i want to see
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evidence of progress. i see no progress tonight. i see furniture being moved around on the titanic. i wa nt being moved around on the titanic. i want to get to a solution for that the only solution that is standing the only solution that is standing the test of time is what i advocated seven months ago to take a practically deliverable brexit versus remains back to the country. the people own it. if that is what they want, fine. playing silly games here and amendments anything else, however honourable the intention is, it does not get us further to making the actual decision as to whether we brexit on these terms or not. only the people can do that. those votes. to seven p:m.. vicky will be with me to talk me through that. let's go to brussels. we already know that the prime minister spoke to eu presidentjean claude juncker early this morning.
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so how is brussels reacting to all of this? across europe politicians are watching what is going on across europe. they still believe that parliament is divided over brexit and it is not the moment for the eu to ta ke and it is not the moment for the eu to take any decisive movements. what jean claude juncker has to take any decisive movements. what jean claudejuncker has made clear, as frankly he has done in the past, and so have the 27 other eu leaders are saying we will not open the withdrawal agreement and not making big changes to the backstop. i was asked how many times do we have to repeat the same thing? we know that the eu sometimes this is something is impossible and then they end up doing something completely different. the backstop, the guarantee over the irish border, really is a particularly sensitive issue as we have discussed so many times. it touches on the northern ireland peace process.
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it talks about not caving in to departing member uk and protecting the single market after brexit. do not forget the text of the backstop is the fruit of 18 months of painful negotiations between uk and eu negotiators signed off by theresa may for that this is very difficult to fudge on what you propose to do in very difficult situations. any request they are saying for changing this withdrawal agreement and the backstop will be met with no. but i do think that if theresa may now wa nts to do think that if theresa may now wants to pursue the idea she had before and get legal qualifications on the backstop, i think she would find more of an open door eu quarters. they have spoken with one voice in europe so far but the european commission to get itself into a bitter pickle in the last week, speaking about the need for some sort of border if there was no deal which was walked back. ben michel barnier said there may be a
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solution to avoiding a hard border in ireland without a deal and the brexiteers have lea pt in ireland without a deal and the brexiteers have leapt on that. if michel barnier is talking about this, maybe there is wiggle room in this, maybe there is wiggle room in this deal? peoplejump this, maybe there is wiggle room in this deal? people jump on what they wa nt to this deal? people jump on what they want tojump on. the reality is, if you look back in december, the european commission published what will happen in certain instances if there is no—deal brexit. it was said there is no—deal brexit. it was said there would have to be physical checks on agricultural products and livestock crossing in from northern ireland into ireland. that is the equivalent of hard border checks, if you like. they never wanted to discuss it publicly because it is such a sensitive issue in ireland. it was just admitting what is there. it was just admitting what is there. it is being thought of as an attempt to focus all mines in the uk, where the government has insisted it does not want there to be a hard border between the republic of
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ireland and northern ireland after brexit and the government in ireland as well needs to think about taking precautions against them is a no—deal brexit in the eventuality of a hard border. where would that land? a hard border. where would that land ? that is a hard border. where would that land? that is being discussed. nobody is suggesting that a magical, nonexistent invasion of a hard border is possible without some kind of physical checks and infrastructure. again i go back to those 18 months of negotiations between uk and eu negotiators, they did not come up with an alternative solution. inside the withdrawal agreement with this legally binding document, the eu has said it is open to any other alternatives should they present themselves. thank you very much indeed. with me now, with a bit more detail on those very complex amendments, is our reality check correspondent, chris morris. also hilary benn. your amendment was not chosen by the speaker today that you did put it forward. it is
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for the speaker to decide what he is going to call. i suspect we may well return to the subject of indicative vote if the prime minister has her deal rejected again. you are putting full weight behind the amendment from vivek cooper. to prevent a no—deal brexit from the 29th of march. —— yvette cooper. it avoids disaster. in the crisis we are facing, and we are facing a crisis asa facing, and we are facing a crisis as a nation, you need to deal with things in order and preventing a no—deal brexit, the committee produced a report yesterday saying a no—deal brexit could not be a policy of responsible government. we know what the consequences would be. the government knows it. my heart says that the prime minister would not ta ke that the prime minister would not take us over the edge of a cliff. the house will get the chance to express its view on whether it wants to reject a no—deal brexit. express its view on whether it wants
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to reject a no-deal brexit. here we are, the 29th of january, exactly two months until brexit day. as katya has just eloquently stated, they are wondering, can this parliament decide anything? they have been eating popcorn for months we re have been eating popcorn for months were trying to work out what is going on in westminster. you are right if you take a step back from this amendment or that amendment, more than two years after the referendum were just two months until brexit and frankly we have no idea how it will end up. you can have a moment seeking no automotive arrangements to the backstop and another seeking to extend the article 15 negotiating period but we do not know how the house of commons will shake down on all of this. we talk all the time about the ticking clock but that time is getting really short now. we are pretty
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close to the time probably that even if miraculously owed deal emerges at the last minute and enough arms twisted you may have to extend the article 50 period to get things put into legislation in the right way to ta ke into legislation in the right way to take account of the possibility of any legal challenge to that legislation and make sure the whole process is done relatively smoothly. ken clark said today, look at this mess. no wonder populism finds fertile ground. they cannot agree among themselves. celebrations today among themselves. celebrations today among themselves. celebrations today among the conservative party that two wings among the rhone party have finally found a compromise after two yea rs finally found a compromise after two years and the labour party has a problem, some of whom are being told to support the yvette cooper amendment yet they are brexit constituencies. we are in difficulty because it is a very complex thing. i know what leaving an institution
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means that did the question rear light in any of us as to what our future relationship be with the 00:21:07,1000 --> 00:21:08,464 uk? no, it did not. iagree future relationship be with the uk? no, it did not. i agree we are spending a lot of time at the moment on the process and the time but, at some point if the prime minister's deal does not get through, she, as the prime minister, will have to confront this truth. if that does not work, what else will work? that is why i put forward a proposal for an indicative vote. we need to focus on the big question, ourfuture relationship, and not the detail of the operation of the backstop. you cannot have a plan from yvette cooper to extend article 50 unless you have a plan to go to brussels with. they are notjust going to give us an extension. they have been very clear they want to know what this is awful if it isjust to see more squabbling in a deadlocked house of commons they are going to be really unimpressed. they do want
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to plan. is that plan heading towards an election which could change the political landscape is to map could be heading towards another referendum? map could be heading towards another referendum ? the map could be heading towards another referendum? the timetable is very tight. how long realistically could you extend article 50 four? you cannot have multiple extensions but politically and legally that would be very tricky. we know there are european elections at the end of may but the new european parliament does not sit until the 2nd ofjuly, so a three—month extension until the end ofjune as three—month extension until the end of june as possible three—month extension until the end ofjune as possible but at the moment the government says that is not its policy that that is the timeframe we are looking at, probably not enough time to have another referendum but possibly enough time to have a compromise but mps are still struggling to find it. the point i put too catty about a lack of appetite of any border on the island of ireland. even if there
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was no deal, they would not do it. we have heard that pretty much from michel barnier. they would have to face that fact, if no deal was seriously on the table and parliament was not keen to take it off the table. possibly but no do would be a really bad idea for a whole host of reasons, including the border in northern ireland. at some point if there were no deal outcome, the eu would have to begin to check goods coming into the single market because this whole argument has been about the integrity of the single market and therefore of goods coming in which you are not checking, and at some point someone says, well, this apple has come in and it exceeds the permitted pesticide residue, why aren't you checking? at some point the eu will have to do that in respect of the united kingdom. we do not want to end up there. actually you could avoid the whole problem if the government was prepared to change its approach to the future relationship can
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say the eight and the customs union, solving the problem of the northern ireland border and ensuring frictionless free trade it would be a compromise. we are not seeing a willingness to compromise at the moment. it requires the prime minister to move away from making decisions about our future and saying i am prepared to listen to other suggestions. on the political declaration she has failed to do that in the next few weeks. lovely to see you. thank you. it requires the prime minister to move away from making decisions about our future and saying i am prepared to listen to other suggestions. on the political declaration she has failed to do that in the next few weeks. lovely to see you. thank you. you sometime. let's just lovely to see you. thank you. you sometime. let'sjust dip lovely to see you. thank you. you sometime. let's just dip a flavour of the debate which is ongoing. there is probably about another a0 minutes of this to run. caroline lucas of the green party is speaking at the moment. let's have a listen. let me make very clear that for the constituents in brighton no deal would be a catastrophe, whether that is the tourism industry, our industry, our business, our universities and research our
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families and communities who have been built on free movement and will fight to the very end to try to stop the end of free movement. in fact what this amendment does is not bind the house to any particular outcome, it gives parliament the time and space to me: honest assessment of the available options in front of us. “— the available options in front of us. —— to make an honest assessment. the brady amendment does take fa ntasy the brady amendment does take fantasy into a new art form. i do not know how many times the eu has to say it is just not possible to reopen the negotiation on the withdrawal built. it is just an extraordinary way off perhaps trying to get the conservative party to hold together but it will not stand up hold together but it will not stand up to any kind of contact with external reality. we have already got eu officials today right now saying they are preparing a statement again to say that it would not be possible to open
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up an agreement that was negotiated over the past 20 months. the deputy chief negotiator yesterday saying, and i quote there is no negotiation between the uk and the eu, that has finished just wishing it was otherwise quick crossing your fingers and screwing your eyes and wishing it was otherwise is not a good negotiating strategy. i appeal to colleagues offered it to focus on what is in front of the sky some practical ways to avoid the catastrophe of no deal which will hurt the poorest hardest and over which the prime minister has no mandate over whatsoever. may i also point out to the members opposite who seem to think that threatening no deal is effective with our european counterparts? it is tantamount to standing with a pistol against a own head saying you will fire if they do not do what you want. it is not a sensible negotiating strategy. i want to say
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how much i support as well be amendment on citizens assembly. if i had more time i would say more about it. we drew the absence of that further time. it is a privilege to follow my honourable friend. i would just caution again, we don't seem to be listening in the house. if we continue to say this is a conservative party problem we fundamentally misunderstand why people voted for brexit for that we can go on and on about the machinations of the conservative party being united but this country voted in swathes and swathes in working—class areas for brexit and what were they voting for? it was not to do with the conservative party. we are limited in the options we have. i was touched by the speech from my friend, the right honourable memberfor west dorsett, from my friend, the right honourable member for west dorsett, and from my friend, the right honourable memberfor west dorsett, and i understand, i kind of feel the trepidation he has around no deal andi trepidation he has around no deal
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and i share that. you cannot get rid of no deal by taking it away. without that we have nothing, we have nothing to go back to an fullback on. should we have done at the beginning? yes. should we have made it an endeavour of national renewal? yes. we cannot let the united kingdom fallout of a deal thatis united kingdom fallout of a deal that is not good enough. we have one option left which is to support the brady amendment. many of us have said in this place that the northern ireland backstop is the problem. we must do what the eu says we cannot do which is to come behind the prime minister show we are united on that front and get a result on the backstop agreement. a sunset clause, a unilateral exit, and then let's get on with it and deliver it. let's get on with it and deliver it. let's get within around the possibility. i see the new proposals which
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have come forward today. it is exciting but i am lukewarm about it. we have a deal but there are aspects of it that are not good enough. let's tackle those aspects and focus on what we're doing and let's actually deliver brexit and get this done so we can get out of the european union on march the 29th and, please, let's get on with something else. sitting through this debate today has been extraordinarily painful to see the arguments rehashed again and again and again and i have huge respect for those who continue to say this will happen, that will happen, this is what i want that is what i want. we are here now, we are starting now. the agreement has come forward. it has a flaw cannot accept. let's get on, let's do something about the backstop that is within the realms of what we do for that if we ask for too much and if we ask the unreasonable, the european union will shut the door. let's
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get the backstop amended and get out of the european union. there has been talk today about finding consensus across the house. the consensus that should trouble is is that between the member for rashford and the member for wigan when they talk about the content of the british public have for this pantomime that we are becoming in parliament. questions about what on earth is going on in this place. i have gone through all of the amendments andl have gone through all of the amendments and i will support them tonight to try to make some progress. but the honest truth is we have heard many powerful speeches today and there will be little progress. in the short time available to me i want to talk about amendment h, that
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speaks to the einstein principle that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. we are going through that in this place. citizens assemblies are not about replacing mps giving up on parliament, they're not about saying parliamentary democracy cannot work but about making it work with the public that there are also about stopping the games that we've seen being played in this place. the horse trading, the unicorn hunting, that has meant that we are in this gridlock. parliaments around the world has used citizens assemblies as a circuit regular all of the bad habits that now in effect this place. the truth but everyone claims to know the will of the people on theseissues to know the will of the people on these issues when the truth is nobody knows because nobody has asked them. it is 250 people
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randomly selected to represent the british people, lost the questions on audience of those who bothered to turn up but people of all ages and social classes. looking at the priorities and feeding back into our discussions with the wii would be free as a parliament to say no to what they said but afterjust ten weeks of deliberation you never know what a pair of fresh guys could bring to the debate. that has been their experience in ireland, iceland, canada and australia and equally it would have any other flavour of brexit heard. the prime minister was correct to say that nothing has changed but it can get worse. i urge members to think if they think progress can be made or if itjust they think progress can be made or if it just might they think progress can be made or if itjust might be worth looking at whether there is a better way that
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we can learn from, the public are watching and need us to do better. let's give it a shot. as colleagues will no for the first time in my career in this house i voted against my party and could not support the prime minister and cabinet withdrawal agreement. i made clear though that for the things that were wrong with it, largely around the northern island protocol, ifelt that they breached important ma nifesto that they breached important manifesto commitments, to have no barrier in the way of different parts of the uk and also to potentially track both in an indefinite customs union for the what i want to do is to give the prime minister the best opportunity to go back to the eu to secure those changes necessary. and in my judgment supporting the amendment tabled by the memberfor judgment supporting the amendment tabled by the member for katrina wu est to tabled by the member for katrina wuest to give that support is the best opportunity to support the prime minister in her return to
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the eu. the second thing is i do not wa nt to eu. the second thing is i do not want to make a task more difficult and that is why i fundamentally think it is wrong to rule out a no—deal brexit. the best way to secure a brexit with the deal is to get the deal before this house that can get support. the memberfor meriden said she thought there was some merit in ruling out a no deal to get something in return. the problem is if this house rules out a no—deal brexit without the prime minister having got something in return than they make her life more difficult and make it more difficult for her to secure a deal and less likely that we will get the deal that we need to get to rule out that no—deal brexit. i think the
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amendment proposed has a number of problems, i understand the front benchis problems, i understand the front bench is not keen on the nine months delay contained in that and also it could be used by others as a mechanism for revoking brexit. that is the scene live in the house of commons at the moment. 20 minutes of this debate still to go. mark garment format chief whip speaking their saying that he would support their saying that he would support the brady amendment. we're here at westminster tonight, waiting for mps to start voting on a series of amendments that are likely to steer the future direction of brexit. exactly two months ago, and a new deadline was introduced today — february 13. if parliament can't agree by then on what course to follow, the prime minister will come to the house, make a statement — and then what? we don't quite know that yet. with me is katy balls,
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deputy political editor at the spectator and anne mcelvoy senior editor with the economist. let's presume theresa may goes back to brussels on thursday as we anticipate and does not get any movement, they are not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement, what happens then?” reopen the withdrawal agreement, what happens then? i think she will say that she will keep trying for a while, i think there is a feeling that brussels will say no initially evenif that brussels will say no initially even if the brady amendment gets a majority and theresa may argues that there is a majority in the commons for a brexit if you change the backstop arrangement. i think the uk, they will use that to keep pushing and eventually we'll get something. so i think that they do expect that to happen but it will not be until later on that they truly will give up on that route. but on the
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13th of february, having that marked in the diary and if that she comes back with nothing then the house of commons may push for a softer brexit or perhaps none at all. that is possibly the case but her back is against the wall, this deal was never going to go through in the current form so she has done a bit of hail mary pass today, basically said that deal i said was the only deal, it turns out it was not. she's levelling with what the reality is and i think that she gets some edibility for that on the backbenches. we have that amendment, the brady amendment and some others, if it looks like the memorandum is in her direction if it looks like the memorandum is in herdirection and if it looks like the memorandum is in her direction and she is getting a can of reasonable centre to coalesce and say we are not all going to agree on what we want but we are still backing you. then she's in better position than simply
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blundering on. but the question is, she will not get anything first time around with brussels, but we keep hearing especially from the german side you need to make up your mind what you want. she could say aye have made up my mind, and i have more backing than ever before. over to you, eu. then the eu either says we're not moving, but that was not quite what they said when they said decide what you want. so she could see a bit of a chink and she will try to use that. but it only works if she keeps that momentum more in her direction rather thanjust if she keeps that momentum more in her direction rather than just a feeling of she has had enough and needs to go. does it matter then if she does not get a majority for the brady amendment tonight, if she fell short by maybe 20 for example, would it matter? figures in government say
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does not matter. labour say you just need a large majority. i think of it falls short by 20 that is not great because ultimately usa that with this backstop being eradicated by technology for example, she is more likely to get a different kind of change to the backstop than the erg one. so i think she cannot get a majority on the brady amendment then that will only go down when she gets a compromise solution. so i think that will weaken her hand without a majority but another amendment we voted on tonight is the cooper amendment for no deal. if that passes and no deal is taken off the table and we have the extension of
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article 50, that would tie her hand when it comes to going to brussels evenif when it comes to going to brussels even if the brady amendment also passes. jeremy corbyn came out in support of that amendment tonight. does that mean it would have a better chance to succeed ? does that mean it would have a better chance to succeed? it has a better chance to succeed? it has a better chance to succeed? it has a better chance of succeeding, it does not guarantee it. and there is interaction between these amendments. it is fascinating watching their faces at westminster. use the concern on the face of nick boles and yvette cooper, i do not think that they have got it in the bag at all. we know the prime minister said at bag at all. we know the prime ministersaid ata bag at all. we know the prime minister said at a meeting yesterday that if you want to take no deal of the table, you can still do that but give me support now. so it
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is possible that the grim brady proposal would gain some support amongst the moderates. we will only know when the numbers come through. but it looks like no deal coming off the table is perhaps the more likely outcome than anything else that we've talked about. thank you very much. welljoining me now from brussels is tony connelly, europe editor for the irish broadcaster rte. in an article this week he said in recent weeks dublin had been forced to say that it was not making contingency plans for a no—deal brexit. this has been an issue of the course of the past week. do you think they would be prepared to open up think they would be prepared to open up the withdrawal agreement to find a way through if they managed to
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steer parliament tonight away from an extension, away from taking no deal of the table question what i do not think that dublin is looking at that kind of scenario at all. the signals here in brussels are about member states are sticking to their line that they adopted at the european council in december, there has been a bit of coordination today between member states and the eu institutions and we are a bubbly will get a formal response from the european council spokesperson for donald tusk at some point after the vote has ta ken donald tusk at some point after the vote has taken place. the same again forjean claude juncker the commission president. but my understanding is that they will stick to the line that there can be clarifications and reassurances but under no circumstances do they appear to be at all willing to reopen the withdrawal agreement and certainly the irish government would be that view as well. thank you very much. and the
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shadow brexit secretary keir starmer is speaking now. she refused to rule out the prospect that she herself would apply for extension of article 50 if this latest attempt to reopen issues long thought to be closed fails. i do not think that this house would be so passive in the face of the high likelihood that we are likely to be back here in two weeks facing the very prospect. that is why labour will support the amendments which seek to prevent no deal whether by an extension of article 50 or otherwise. no deal would be catastrophic forjobs 50 or otherwise. no deal would be catastrophic for jobs and 50 or otherwise. no deal would be catastrophic forjobs and living standards and would weaken our security and risk a hard water in northern ireland. members should be under no illusion about this, no deal is not a way to prevent a heart border but to guarantee it. so the first step in preventing the rush to no deal is to reduce the
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time pressure on article 50. that is what some of these key amendments for us tonight seek to do we will support them. because there are cries of exit delayed, let us be clear... the shadow brexit secretary reiterating whatjeremy corbyn said earlier that their priority is to take no deal of their priority is to take no deal of the table. with me now is former trade minister lord digbyjones. one thing i'm keen to know, if the cooper amendment passed tonight, which would set in motion a piece of legislation that would have to go through the house of lords, with those who ardently support brexit try to stop it by filibustering?” would never abused parliamentary process. i'm not one of your ideological brexiteers. i would prefer ideological brexiteers. i would p refer to ideological brexiteers. i would prefer to be in a reformed eu
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but i just have no confidence in the reform. but i do believe that to postpone this from the 29th of march would be a disgrace. it would be raising to parliamentary fingers to 17.a million people. it would be ignoring them. and it would kick the can down the road and all you would get is another few months of this. then brussels is going to say, they're going to elect new meps. you do not want the far right taking up mep posts in brussels. just go and postpone article 50. it is a last act by remainers trying to sabotage the whole thing. 17.a
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million people voted for a million different reasons but one thing i know they voted to do is to come out. the point is they do not know how to come out and parliament is as divided as the people are. i think that the political class have let the country down and i would include the country down and i would include the first —— the house of lords in that. we are failing the people who elected us to implement their referendum decision. in different parts of the country in different sectors, brexit is not a worry but the worry is the uncertainty. but people will not invest if they do not know what is happening. what is causing mayhem is the people in the house of commons letting the country down. there would be
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mayhem for example the grocers who said they would be no fresh food on the shelves if there would be no deal. i'm not convinced of that. we all look at this through our own telescope and quite rightly but if you were in france today, the biggest home for french agricultural experts is the uk. germany do not wa nt experts is the uk. germany do not want any no deal. it is something that no one wants. with got to get to the end of this using that as the lever and then we will get a deal. the brexit secretary is on his feet, let's listen in. we should not lose sight that outside the eu we should continue to respect our shared values, to protect citizens' rights and honour our international obligations and preserve the integrity of
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the peace process. many other sides of the house find much in the withdrawal agreement that is common ground. they are an integral pa rt of common ground. they are an integral part of bringing the country back together as we move forward in the national interest but despite that many of the amendments presented to the house today simply prolong the level of uncertainty and delay and paradoxically are presented in a spirit of making process and delivering certainty. unlike the shadow opposite number i would happily give way. i thank the right honourable gentleman for giving way. could he enlighten the house with respect to the phrase in the amendment moved by the chair of the 1922 committee, what are these alternative arrangements that they are going to barrel after the eu to me yea rs are going to barrel after the eu to me years ago “— are going to barrel after the eu to me years ago —— to renegotiate
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customer the alternative arrangements referred to in paragraph 19. what she draws attention to is the difference between that side of the house and the side. we have an amendment from the side. we have an amendment from the leader of the opposition that was barely referred to in the debate. members on his own side did not even want to reference it. they did not seem to want to engage with the actual amendment. and that is because he starts from a position of calling for unity but cannot take a unified position from his own backbench colleagues. i'm grateful to my right honourable friend and he has shown great generosity allowing people to intervene. if people vote for the possibility of extending article 50 this evening by up to nine months and
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eu allowed that, as he estimated how many billions of pounds that would cast and pretty estimate where that money would come from, which public services would be damaged because that money was going to brussels rather than public services in the uk. we are willing to take interventions in debate because we have a clear position from the prime minister. whereas the position of the leader of the opposition is confused. what position does he support? does it support the position of len mccluskey who is willing to engage with the finest or does he not? the question could be turned the other way, has any estimate been made of the billions that an extended period of the customs union would bring in
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to the country? well the point of the delayed that would flow from the amendment, this confusion as to what the date even is. it prefers to the end of this year, yet in early march she said the timing might not be that long, it might be shorter. the memberforgrantham said that long, it might be shorter. the member for grantham said there would be further situations where we could look at the timing. yet as the memberfor look at the timing. yet as the member for walsham pointed out it is an empty vessel, a trojan wears leather 's indecision about delay. the key point that clothes from the point made by the honourable gentleman is that we prolong the level of uncertainty and that drives up level of uncertainty and that drives up costs which is exactly why so many businesses in scotland as well as the rest of the uk say that the best way forward of ending
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unnecessary cost in terms of no deal is to back the prime ministers deal. what we have seen in the debate really is a marked difference of focus, on the benches behind me we have colleagues on different sides of the referendum debate such as the memberfor of the referendum debate such as the member for loughborough and for north east somerset coming together to look at how they can work on solutions. we have a proposal from the member for altrincham which will dojust that. it the member for altrincham which will do just that. it will help us unlock the conversation with eu and get everything gloated to delivering on the results of the referendum. a result but so many on the benches opposite indeed were committed to supporting in that manifesto. does he agree with me that whatever we say tonight in this house, both people who will vote for amendment to delay article 50 and
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delay the whole process of leaving at the end of march, will be seen by the public evenif of march, will be seen by the public even if they do not mean it, will be seen by the public as wanting to stop brexit? the honourable lady is absolutely right, at best they delay parliament in terms of getting clarity on an agreed plan and at worst they disguised attempts to stop brexit and indeed it would be better if those members who want to go back on their manifesto and indeed stop brexit were more explicit as to their intentions. because as the prime minister has repeatedly set out there is only one way to stop no deal and that is to secure a deal or to go back on the biggest vote in our democratic history. let me just turned briefly to the leader of the opposition and his amendment because in contradiction to the shadow trade minister who said the
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customs policy that it would give the eu are to decide our tariffs and quotas with third countries and be forced to liberalise our market but have no reciprocal access to various and would would leave the door open to a second amendment which his colleagues have said they oppose. can he spell out to the house what are these alternative arrangements to the backstop that the government wa nts to to the backstop that the government wants to pursue with the eu?|j to the backstop that the government wants to pursue with the eu? i have five minutes left and i will indeed go on... five minutes left and i will indeed goon...| five minutes left and i will indeed go on... i will take these interventions and is arrangements go to the heart of the amendment from the member for altrincham which i am coming onto. but ijust wanted to briefly touch on the amendments
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from the member for beaconsfield and normanton because both of these, and ido normanton because both of these, and i do not for it questioned the principal and spirit in those amendments are brought to the house but the reality is they would have wider implications beyond brexit. that is notjust my view or that of the prime minister but also the view of leading constitutional experts. they said and record, the proposals have international as well as domestic implications. so the house needs to be careful about how it looks of those amendments, at the lack of debate and clarity, the lack of certainty as to the intent is to what the consequences of those amendments will be. because the danger is my right honourable friend the former chief whip
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the member for the former chief whip the member for the forest of dean pointed out, it would act innocent as a trojan horse against the intention that was pointed out. sol against the intention that was pointed out. so i do not doubt the memberfor pointed out. so i do not doubt the member for west dorset when he says there is a precedent for that other has been no debate in this house to look at this and the wider constitutional implications referred to by leading experts in the field cannot simply be swept away in the short term convenience of the moment. the amendment from my right honourable friend the member for meriden again is put forward with great principle and she spoke of a simple vote on saying no to no deal and the issue was taken head—on by the member for belfast north when he pointed out the practical effects of taking no deal off the table and thatis taking no deal off the table and that is not facilitate that intention. i absolutely agree in that regard and indeed it
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is not just on the dup benches that that view is held. michel barnier himself said on the 24th ofjanuary it is not enough to vote against the no deal, if no positive suggestions are put on the table then we will be more or less heading for the no deal on the 30th of march as if by accident. so the way that no deal is addressed is indeed by backing the deal of my right honourable friend. there has been discussion on the proposal put forward by the member of north—west hampshire, not an amendment on the order paper today but it has given us questions to consider and we will see those expert views on this as we take it forward. but what is clear is the spirit of goodwill in which that bills is one that we will take forward as part of reaching the common ground that we need is a house. i
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have waited patiently but i have run out of patience. i would like the secretary of state for leaving the eu to explain to the house what exactly the alternative arrangements are? it is a straightforward question and we are entitled to a straightforward answer. this will be part of the negotiation. but what is not in doubt and is a commitment shared by the honourable lady when indeed she criticised those on the benches opposite who unlike the sister parties of the labour movement in northern ireland have not backed with dale, not reflected the will of both the labour movement in the south and that in the north. the fa ct south and that in the north. the fact is they have walked away from the deal even though the deal is the way of securing that. as the prime minister is clear that whatever is
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agreed, our steadfast commitment to ensuring that no hard border... believing from westminster and whereabouts to witness another critical moment in the road to brexit. mps currently inside westminster will be voting in the next few minutes on a series of amendments that could change the direction of the government approach to leaving the eu. over the next hour we will bring you every moment in the house of commons and explain what it could mean to the future of the eu. vicki young is right outside the eu. vicki young is right outside the commons chamber. in a moment we will hear from the speaker as he asks those proposing amendments if they wish to put them to the vote. and also speaking to our political editor after the prime minister gave ground for the vote and proposed to ask brussels to reopen the withdrawal deal. let's go back to the house of commons. the brexit circuitry is just sitting down. ——
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secretary. i move, imove, mr i move, mr speaker, amendment a. as many of the opinion that it should be made say aye? of the country, no. division. clear the lobby. the first vote of the evening is under way, which was put forward by labour leaderjeremy corbyn which talks about a strong elation ship with the single market and by haps a public vote later in the process on a people's vote on the deal. —— and perhaps. that is the first abode of the evening. —— first vote. let's speak to our chief political correspondent vicki young, who is in the houses of parliament.
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this is the first amendment from the labour leader. not all of the may be pushed to vote but it is likely we will get at least seven votes will stop what people are looking at particularly are the amendments that tried to prevent a no—deal brexit. —— tried to prevent. there are a number on the order paper having various degrees of support. it is worth remembering this is not a vote on the meaningful vote, on theresa may's plan for the mps trying to have their say about what should happen next. there are various options to try and take no deal of the table, some of those involved changing rules in the house of commons in order to let mps bring in actual bills. highly unusual steps in some cases. people are predicting some very close results tonight the other one people are looking at is being put forward by
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ian brady, a senior conservative and one which the prime minister is asking her own mps to get behind. what it does is rip upa mps to get behind. what it does is rip up a part of the agreement she has already got with the eu. so the controversial backstop to prevent a ha rd controversial backstop to prevent a hard border in northern ireland, theresa may excepting that needs to change it needs to be a legally binding change. —— act setting. everyone here is talking about it. we might end up tonight with mps once again voting against lots of things but maybe have not voted in favour of anything. a very interesting evening ahead of us. let's look in more detail on what the mps are voting on. thejeremy corbyn amendments allows the government to make time for mps to ‘consider and vote on' different options to prevent a no deal scenario. these would include negotiating
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an alternative brexit deal based labour's plan for a permanent customs union and a strong relationship with the eu's single market. it would also allow an option to legislate to hold another public vote — either on a deal or a proposal that has the support of mps. joining me now is the bbc‘s political editor, laura kuenssberg. in the last few minutes we have heard from the er g, the group of hardened eurosceptics, that they are going to support tonight, the graham brady amendment, asking the prime minister to go back and get an alternative arrangement on the backstop. how significant is that? it is important for the brute force of the numbers. the erg make up dozens and dozens of tory backbenchers, who want us out of the european union and they want us out of the european union quickly and they were absolutely implacably opposed to the prime minister's deal because the particular part of it they did not like was the backstop, they did not like was the backstop, the idea of a guarantee that they would never be returned to a hard
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border on the island of ireland no matter what. for many months that has been the most contentious part of the deal. what they are saying to my is they will back this moment to give the prime minister another to have another go. they are not saying they are on board come hell or high water than they will give her another crack at it. she has purged significantly and said she will ask the eu to look at it again, complete reversal of what should be saying a few days ago. if that amendment goes through or if the prime minister has shown she is getting the numbers down from a thumping defeat last week that buys her a bit of momentum and a bit of time, but not necessarily very much more. we were told that she spoke tojean claude juncker, the european commission president earlier today before she made her speech to the commons. do we know what reaction that has been from brussels? brussels has said
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we cannot reopen this. it is a legal text bigger cheer to david two years by 28 countries. —— which was negotiated. what is important to remember is, at this stage proceedings, that is what the european union would say because they'd do not want that to be a renegotiation and they would be very resista nt to renegotiation and they would be very resistant to making major changes. but, do they want there to be a deal? of course. do not rule out the idea that depending has strong and clear the signallers from parliament tonight that they might find ways of budging. —— burst signal is. the idea they will bend towards the prime minister wants and check out the deal, that is for the birds. the european union would also say which way they want to steer the negotiation. there is another amendment tonight, the yvette cooper amendment were looking at extending
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article 50 with perhaps no brexit at all. there are other amendments as well. i hate to confuse our viewers. there is another amendment being put down by a tory former minister, caroline spelman and labour former ministerjack dromey can saying, let's be sure we do not leave without a deal. i have a suspicion that might be the one getting the most support. it is possible parliament will not a majority for anything. because of the conflicting signals coming out of this place for sale you can understand why the european union might think, are we sure this is the moment when we say the uk is crystal clear about the way forward that could find some consensus? maybe not. until it does, will they offer concessions left right and centre? i do not think so. another interesting thing about today, for a very long
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time now, mps have been saying, involve us. they are having a opportunity today. by nine o'clock or they collectively might have said to us is, we don't agree on anything at all. this is an important part of the process for mps to get out of their system. apart from the prime minister saying she will go back to brussels, it mightjust be she will go back to brussels, it might just be another she will go back to brussels, it mightjust be another important one but not necessarily a game changer. thank you. let's show you the picture in the house of commons. they are starting to retake their seats. they have eight minutes to vote for the first amendment, put forward by labour leaderjeremy corbyn. this is to consider a range of options that mps could vote on, including the labour plan of a permanent customs union and a stronger relationship with the single market and perhaps people could vote on theresa may's deal or
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another deal mps could coalesce around for that lets go back to our chief political correspondent in the lobby. in the house of commons we have seen the divisions in both the main parties the labour party with those people calling for another referendum some of them. jeremy corbyn's gesture in here which they are voting on which is for a closer relationship with the new after brexit. —— suggestion. this is unlikely to get through but labour's position in all of this, we have heard lots of labour mps and lords being very concerned about are no—deal brexit. should they not get behind a deal? you have to have a good deal to get behind. the prime minister said time good deal to get behind. the prime ministersaid time and good deal to get behind. the prime minister said time and again that no deal was better than a bad deal and now she is saying my deal is better than no deal that has not given us
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what is a good deal so much this deal is uncertain. we would get behind a good deal but we do not believe it is a good deal full to various no believe it is a good deal full to various no customs believe it is a good deal full to various no customs union relationship with the single market. -- it is relationship with the single market. —— it isa relationship with the single market. —— it is a good deal and there is no customs union relationship. she has not come up with anything better. customs union relationship. she has not come up with anything betterlj is surprised at the end of january we are in a position where theresa may has said she will go back to brussels and asked for the withdrawal agreement to be reopened? —— are you surprised? i think it is extraordinary. having told the prime minister she could not reopen the deals she is trying to reopen something the european union has said it will not reopen on. about the irish backstop, the reason it is theirs because they could not find any other alternative arrangements to stop a hard border between the republic of ireland and northern
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ireland. now she says she wants to open it up again and look at alternative arrangements. it is about buying more time to work on her own mps. this whole thing has been about internal tory party management and we have seen it yet again tonight. i think it is shocking. there is a move to try and get backbenchers to take control of events in order to rule out a no deal. yvette cooper is trying to get that through tonight. what is the role of the house of lords in all of this? some in the house of lords we re this? some in the house of lords were saying they would try to block this move. people across the house of commons want to rule out a no deal. yvette cooper's moment allows a bit more breathing space to rule out a no deal. my view has or has been it would be wrong for the elected house, the house of lords, to block something that is
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agreed by the elected house, the house of commons. we do not block government legislation, we look at a moments, suggest amendments, and the house of commons has the final say. if the house of commons agree something like that cooper amendment it would be completely unconstitutional for the house of lords to block that. you know from speaking to some of your labour colleagues in the house of commons, there are some who are very concerned because they represent leave areas that voted in large numbers for brexit. they are very concerned about being seen or depicted as trying to block brexit by extending article 50 and delaying it. do you understand why they are concerned? i understand why they are concerned? i understand why they are concerned but i think the amendments tonight can reassure them there is no amendment by that seeks to block brexit. there are amendments to give a breathing space so we do not crash out with no deal. you have seen in
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the papers recently, companies are stockpiling food. we are talking about getting the army on the streets and medical supplies could be in short supply. we are talking about that kind of crisis which is unprecedented outside of wartime. mps are trying to prevent crashing out without arrangements in place and without contracts signed. i think they are doing the right thing to avoid the crashing out. there are no amendments i can see tonight blocking brexit that they do try and get a sensible brexit. -- but they do try. that is the view of the labour leader in the house of lords. in the house of commons are still voting onjeremy corbyn's amendments, calling for what he once there which is his alternative, a permanent customs union. —— what he wa nts. permanent customs union. —— what he wants. some thought that having had her deal rejected
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two weeks ago, that she would turn to that kind of arrangement. thank you. the tellers are taking their positions in front of the speaker's chairs is the first amendment of the evening, put forward by labour leaderjeremy corbyn. order, order. the ayes to the right 296, the noes to the left 327. the ayes to the right 296, the noes to the left 327. so, the noes have it, the noes habit. unlock the lobbies and 296 to 327. amendment
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a defeated. mr ian blackford, the right honourable gentleman to move his amendment. formerly moved. the question is that the amendments, amendment be made. as many as that opinion say aye... of the contrary, no. division. clearthe lobby. far be it for me to interrupt the speaker that he was just saying we move on to amendment 2, amendment 0. ian blackford, setting out an extension of article 50, ruling out ano extension of article 50, ruling out a no deal in calling for a greater say for the nations of the united kingdom. this is the second vote of the evening. as we look at these pictures, someone did reliably inform me tonight that those voting
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no go through one lobby and those voting yes go behind the speaker ‘s chair into the other lobby. they have eight minutes to vote. the bells will be going off around the house of commons. everyone is rushing to the lobbies. the whips will be in full—scale operation this evening. let me bring in two guests joining me here. joining me now is anand menon, director of uk in a changing europe, and dia chakravarty, the telegraph's brexit editor. no great surprise that amendment went down because she would not get conservative mps voting for something the labour leader put forward. it points to one thing, parliament and the parties are divided about brexit but they are still parliamentary parties and if jeremy corbyn's name appears on an amendment they will shy away from it. even if they agree with some substance they will not vote
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for it. in two votes, there is the yvette cooper amendment, in two votes, there is the yvette cooperamendment, extending in two votes, there is the yvette cooper amendment, extending article 50. the labour front cooper amendment, extending article 50. the labourfront bench cooper amendment, extending article 50. the labour front bench saying that after some deliberation are going to get behind that plan. last timel going to get behind that plan. last time i checked there was a caveat that it could not be more than three months, the delay could not be longer than three months. that is what i was hearing when i left the office which was a little while ago. initially it says it would be for nine months and they would come back next tuesday to vote on how long understanding is that the position of the front bench if it had to be extended to three months but things have been chopping and changing throughout the day, so i may be wrong on that. the brady amendment at the cooper amendment and the brady amendment, are the ones we are expecting to be very close. for a lot of the other ones, if one party is supporting it the other party will almost certainly not supported.
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that is one reason why the brady amendment has the tacit support of the government but the government would not put its name towards it. the timetable is important. if you extend it past three months, we're running into european parliamentary elections. there were reports in the times today saying that the uk would be expected to hold parliamentary elections. that is an issue. the 2nd ofjuly is when the new parliament sits. some lawyers say if the uk is still in at that point it needs to have held elections —— because otherwise it casts into doubt the legitimacy of the new parliament. why they won nine months rather than three months, three months is long enough to hold an election but not a
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referendum. we should make the point tonight that all of these amendments they are voting on they are not binding on the government except the yvette cooper amendment calling for a piece of legislation. even then it is quite... i think it would be important to see how these amendments go because the backbenchers are holding quite a lot of power at the moment. they can point to the government saying you are not managing to put a solution in front of us we can support you are not taking our suggestions either. that is the political side of it. how much the government listens to any of the emmons remains to be seen. let's put on the screen what they are currently voting on. —— any of the amendments. this is being put forward by ian blackford. it rules out a no—deal brexit and highlights the role of
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the scottish and welsh government is not being more fully involved in the brexit negotiation. let's speak to our chief political correspondent vicki young, we are going to talk about the idea of another referendum on all of this. there has been a decision not to put down an amendment on that and not have a vote on that this evening. let's talk about why that is not happening at this time with sir vince cable the leader of the liberal democrats. the reason the moment is not being put down is because you do not have the numbers in the house of commons to put that through. that is accurate at this stage in a way it is the government cannot get its deal approved and it does not look as if they can, if the other options are removed from what are we left with? we have the chaotic no deal or a more constructive option of actually
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going back to the public and seeking their views. this is something we will probably come too at the end of the process. what about what theresa may has had to say today question she has said she will go back to brussels and ask them to reopen the withdrawal agreement and wants a legal change to the thorny issue of the backstop. i think this is foolish and dangerous. it is raising expectations of something that is very unlikely to be delivered. negotiations with the european union finished last year and they are not being reopened. the government accepted that. the any problem they haveis accepted that. the any problem they have is the rebellion in the conservative party. to go back now and waste another two weeks seeking and waste another two weeks seeking a solution they are not going to get on the basis of these alternative ideas for the backstop, which are not spelt out. nobody explained today what they were. we think they we re today what they were. we think they were the proposals discussed at the chequers summit last year but were
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rejected as impractical. how on earth will be european union negotiate with something so nebulous? some have said it has been shown with the hefty defeat in the house of commons that the backstop is the issue and, if theresa may can show the eu is there is a time limit or it was changed in some way she could get a majority through the house of commons, they would do that and we know the eu want the deal. the backstop is a problem for some people, for the conservative rebels and the democratic unionists. for others it is not so much full stop the most telling contributions to the most telling contributions to the house this evening came from the independent northern ireland mp who is not in the democratic union. she supported the government originally map makes it clear she cannot now. tearing up the backstop is weakening more she and many others thought in good faith was the better part of the government deal. in order to
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placate hardliners on her inside and put tory unity before everything else the government has opened up a new set of problems. what to make of the attempt by yvette cooper to change the commons rules so that next week maybe they can bring in a bill and try to extend article 50, in extent delaying brexit by up to nine months? will you support that? i will support the cooper amendment and dominic grieve and others. they have a variety of motives, some for it and some against it. they are all alarmed by the prospect of no deal. but it is still being kept in play. these amendments are designed to stop it. if they don't go through, what then? i think we are in a very difficult situation where the government is unable to negotiate a deal in which it has taken no deal off the table. the amendments have not been successful. i think they will be but that's
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supposed —— but let's suppose they are voted down. that is when i think the people's vote, which is not being discussed tonight, will come back into play. plenty of other issues going on tonight. while we wait for the tellers to come back into the room. picking up a point made by sir vince cable that we are eliminating options here. the point the prime minister made today when she took to the dispatch box, there will be another opportunity after february the 13th for mps to put alternatives forward. i have just the 13th for mps to put alternatives forward. i havejust had back confirmed by a minister hugh has beenin confirmed by a minister hugh has been in to see the chief whip tonight but wanting reassurance that is the case. —— who has been. there is the case. —— who has been. there is huge concern within the conservative party. dozens of ministers have said they would
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resign in order to prevent a no deal scenario. they do not think that no one is now. they are being reassured that there will be another chance for them to try and rule out no deal. probably in the week of the 13th, the 1ath of february. it seems to be getting pretty clear that recess, the half term break, will not happen because they will then probably be voting on something, it could be the theresa may deal or a bit like tonight where mps can vote on options to work out the way forward. that is getting very close to the wire given that we're leaving at the end of march. just talking about the amendments that are coming up. there is the ian blackford amendment voting very shortly. about the dominic grieve amendment that calls for indicative vote on a whole
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range of issues. it will probably be defeated tonight but we were speaking to hilary benn earlier he put forward a similar amendment. it is likely if these amendments went down to 90 would get these indicative votes in february. that is in interesting thing. theresa may has said mps keep saying what they are against but what they have not done yet is showing anything they are for. if you're going to get no deal of the table the best way to do thatis deal of the table the best way to do that is to replace it with a deal, that is to replace it with a deal, thatis that is to replace it with a deal, that is the one, sure—fire way to do that. the dominic grieve amendment coming up after this snp one is interesting because, in the same way with the yvette cooper one coming later permitted changes the rules of the house of commons. highly unusual and is making some mps very nervous. it changes the rules of the house of commons. normally it is the government coming forward with legislation, with bills. they have
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the power to do that. changing the rules would allow backbench mps to come up with their own plans. some would see as them seizing control of parliamentary agenda and giving the real power. while a lot of these moments tonight are not binding, the other ones were changing the rules of the house of commons are actually potentially very significant. because they are significant, it means they are facing a bit more opposition because there are many mps in the labour party and conservatives who are concerned about setting that kind of precedent because they feel a lot of the problems that are happening because theresa may does not have a majority in the house of commons. the general election she lost her majority makes it very hard to govern as a minority government and if you have this kind of thing where the rules of the house are being changed in makes it very difficult in the future to do that. the tellers are about to stand in front of the dispatch box and face the speaker. let's listen in to the result on amendment 0 from ian
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blackford. order. order. the ayes to the right worth 39. the noes to the left worth 327. —— were 39. the right worth 39. the noes to the left worth 327. -- were 39. the ayes to the right 39, the noes to the left 327. so, the noes havertz, the noes have it. quite an overwhelming defeat for the moment brought forward by... the member for beaconsfield, mr dominic grieve. i am grateful to the learner gentleman for moving his amendment formally. the question is that amendment g
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be made. as many in favour say aye, of the contrary, no. division. clear the contrary, no. division. clear the lobby. on we go. i must learn not to enter up the speaker when he is in full flow. 327 against and 39 for the moment of ian blackman. onto the moment put forward by the conservative mp dominic grieve is. let's have a look in more detail. if passed, it would force the government to make time for backbench mps to discuss a range of options as an alternative to the prime minister's brexit plan. this includes allowing six full days of debate in the commons before the 26th march. mps would be able to table amendments and then vote on the options at the end of the debate. let's go to brussels. damian
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grammaticas is there for us, watching with great interest what is going on in parliament. let's talk about the sirgraham going on in parliament. let's talk about the sir graham brady amendment we might get later which we think will be very close. the erg, the eurosceptics, have said they would support the prime minister. if she we re support the prime minister. if she were to come back with a mandate and a majority, would that make a difference? in short answer, probably not. the indications are perceiving that brussels will say no, that is not enough. they do not wa nt to no, that is not enough. they do not want to reopen the withdrawal agreement with the exit treaty text thatis agreement with the exit treaty text that is on the table. sources here is saying the responses are already prepared to come out if that amendment is passed in london and it will be that there is not a renegotiation possible. we are hearing from president emmanuel macron in france saying exactly the same thing. he is at a mini summit meeting in cyprus this evening.
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eu leaders starting to make their voices heard as well for a very reason. that amendment is the one that says the uk government, theresa may, should seek to find alternative arrangements to deal with the irish border situation. the view of the us that alternative arrangements have been discussed verily for well over a yearand been discussed verily for well over a year and every possible option has been looked at and there are no other better options. theresa may we re other better options. theresa may were saying possibly time limits and possibly technology to deal with the border, none of those work in the view of the eu. theresa may is also said that none of these work and there has to be a backstop in the deal. she shaped the deal and her own red lines had created it. it was created with major concessions the eu believes to fit and structure it the way she wanted. at this stage they are saying that cannot be changed. either some
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in brussels watching this debate and seeing that there is a majority probably in the house of commons to take no deal off the table, that many remain as would like to push towards a softer brexit and a closer relationship with single market and customs union and wondering why they would help the prime minister at this stage when they could take it another way. certainly there are many here who would like brexit never to have come about and not to come about but crucially i think the thing to save that what they want in brussels is to see a solution at the end of the day. and i managed withdrawal deal is their preference. that is what they've spent months negotiating. but within that that has to fit into the eu parameters, the deals on the
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table, that is the best one according to president macron this evening that could be offered under the circumstances and they do not at this point see the need to change that unless the uk fundamentally changed its own negotiating position. with more time that could something, that is something that could be contemplated right now the eu thinks it is the uk parliament that has two face the difficulties in front of it. well the prime minister has said we know what you are against, but what are you for. joining me now is anand menon, director of uk in a changing europe, and dia chakravarty, the telegraph's brexit editor. what the prime minister has done today to go back and ask for the withdrawal agreement to be reopened, thatis
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withdrawal agreement to be reopened, that is ramping up expectations?m is curious because just a few days ago she argued that this was the only deal on the table. and she spent the best part of six months fighting the eu over the backstop so it is strange to see this. in a sense she is raising expectations that she can get something that she failed to get a four which is a different order removed backstop. she said tell me what you do want and yet she's not supporting the amendment, the grieve amendment, wanting six days to look at a variety of options to get indicative votes on those options to find out what there is a majority for. the government has not covered itself in glory at all, their position has been all over the place and not collaborative. parliament has never felt updated on this even
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know we have had hours of debate. but to give some credit to theresa may, la st give some credit to theresa may, lastjuly this very give some credit to theresa may, last july this very house of commons said they did not want to be in the single market or customs union. we thought that we had had those arguments in july. we thought that we had had those arguments injuly. we were out here talking about that nonstop until we had moved away from some of those options apparently available to us and here we are again and all those options seem to be now reopened. so ido options seem to be now reopened. so i do not think anyone has covered themselves in glory, not our government and not the current parliamentarians. if in the event the only amendment to get through is the only amendment to get through is the brady amendment and cooper amendment calling for an extension of article 50, it does not mean that she is necessarily going to
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get an extension to article 50. on the one hand the eu has tried to signal that it would give us an extension if we tell them what it is for but i find it hard to believe that they would refuse an extension because they do not want no deal either. and it could look as if they were pushing us into no deal if they refused an extension. but where no closer to knowing what parliament once and thatis knowing what parliament once and that is the logjam we need to shift. you're one of the few people who has read all 500 odd pages of the withdrawal agreement, is there something in there that you think i'm a backstop that they could take on and find a compromise to suit all parties? almost certainly not because it seems the position of the hard—core opponents of the backstop and the irish government are at
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odds. people who oppose it say they wa nt odds. people who oppose it say they want a odds. people who oppose it say they wanta time odds. people who oppose it say they want a time limit, and those are things of the irish government has absolutely refused. but the deputy negotiator of the eu yesterday said we will not reopen the backstop so since quite unlikely that they are going to do it and they would find a compromise to satisfy those real opponents to the backstop in parliament. let's go back to the lobby, eight minutes to vote for each of these amendments so vicki young has got to be very swift speaking to mps after the vote. this amendment is seen as pretty crucial, it is different because it changes the rules of the house of commons it gives backbench mps sometime to debate what they want to talk about and possibly even broke through new laws. the labour mp chuck yamuna is here. everyone thinks that this will
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be close, why is this important? yvette cooper says that she's trying to ta ke yvette cooper says that she's trying to take no deal off the table. to try to explain this in a simple way, if the prime minister leans too much in my direction, and i would want brexit not to happen and to have the people's vote, then she would lose one wing of her party and be displaced from office but too much in the other direction, she would also lose support for the third to move forward we need parliament to ta ke move forward we need parliament to take this out of the hands. and we have the mps determining what the country dials. to do that we need to have time on the agenda in parliament to discuss what we want to vote on and what we want. if we do not have that time we cannot provide for the votes on bills and things that need to happen to provide for any kind of process. things that need to happen to provide for any kind of processm it practical to have a group of
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backbench mps trying to get a bill through parliament? you have a government for a reason and they are dead to govern and put through legislation. under our constitution the executive governance through the legislature and if you cannot come and support in the house of commons for any piece of legislation, and we have pushed for an election a few weeks ago and that failed. let's be clear, it is not unheard of for backbench legislation to go through. most fridays we debate and vote on private members bills and on tuesday evenings we've done the same. there have been private members bills that have been private members bills that have come laws of this is not out of the ordinary but we just want more time for that. we're waiting to hear whether we get, whether we going to get more time as a result of this vote that is going through now. dominic grieve as
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the former attorney general and put down this amendment which will provide from the 12th of february onwards but for one day a week here in parliament it is reserved to debate brexit legislation as backbench mps see fit. would there be any majority for anything anyway? it is a fair point but in order to come to a decision we need to debate and vote. i think there is no way to avoid this, there are a numberof there is no way to avoid this, there are a number of options the country can take and we have to make a decision on what we believe to be the best way forward. we cannot keep kicking the count down the road and knocking this issue back to some point in the future. we have to make a decision and in the absence of consensus you a decision and in the absence of consensus you need to affair that back to the people in the people's vote, that is my belief but others ta ke vote, that is my belief but others take a different view. we have developed a whole different things available as options to discover where the most votes lie and then
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move our country forward. in order to do that we need time to have those votes and it cannot be run by theresa may partly because if she does anything she could be removed from office. and that leaves her relatively hamstrung. today she said she would go back to the eu and ask for the withdrawal agreement to be reopened to try to change the backstop. this has always been part of the problem, i spoke to one minister in another eu government a couple of weeks ago and she said all along the problem has been the prime minister has been negotiating with london, with her own party and has not really been a full attention to the other side of the negotiating table, eu, what they have been saying. they are cleared that the withdrawal agreement is not open for negotiation again, that is finished. they are adamant that they will not change their position. could result
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ina no change their position. could result in a no deal? everyone wants to avoid no deal. let's see what the result is. order. the ayes to the right, 301. the noes to the left, 321. the ayes to the right, 301. the noes to the left, 321. the noes have it. the noes have it. we now come to amendment b in the name of the right honourable member for normanton, yvette cooper. the question is that
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amendment b be made. as many as are of that opinion say aye. of the country, no. division. clearthe lobby. —— of the contrary, no. country, no. division. clearthe lobby. -- of the contrary, no. this isa lobby. -- of the contrary, no. this is a vote on the fourth amendment of the evening and let's recap first on the evening and let's recap first on the amendment we just had, the dominic grieve amendment, six days of debate on a variety of options which would go to indicative votes. that was defeated, 321 against 301. so the grieve amendment defeated but do not suppose in the weeks ahead that we will not get other mps coming forward with a similar amendment to that. but we go on to the cooper amendment. let's look at that in detail. tables by yvette cooper and nick boles. this amendment could potentially require the prime minister to postpone
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brexit if mps do not approve the deal by the 26th of february. and it would give mps time in the commons next week to discuss passing innumerable and if that was passed it would require the prime minister to seek an extension of article 50, delaying brexit. if the pm does not get a deal to the house by debris 26. so sam coates is here, the beastie political editor of the times newspaper and jack van chart, political editor of the london playbook. —— he is the political editor of the times newspaper. mps are trying to wrestle back the timeframe from the government. the cooper amendment would be a big deal if it was approved. it would be the first step on the path to rejecting no deal. mps must
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decide the final vote of the evening, whether to give theresa may the mandate to go back and try to negotiate. but what we're seeing with the cooper amendment is whether mps should not take back more control of the process. what we're learning in these early votes is it does not look like there are enough mps at the moment who want to do that. the grieve amendment fell by about 20 votes. the cooper amendment gives more opportunity to take, to extend the process later in february. i think it looks as if that might fall now as well. so mps seem to have decided that they can ask that question, if not today, then not at all. so they would have another go at this in february? then not at all. so they would have another go at this in february7m
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looks like we will all be back here in february for yet more rounds. and thatis in february for yet more rounds. and that is the moment when we might see tory ministers quitting. that looks like d—day. mps taking control, but it does not seem as if it will be today. this would be a close vote, the labour front bench say they will get behind it but there is a question over how long the extension would be for the yvette cooper said initially nine months but that runs into the problem of the european parliament elections. brussels is clean —— is keen for any delay not to run into the next european parliament elections. but the labour front bench are worried that a nine—month delay would look like they are trying to stop brexit. they feel a three—month delay, that would go down better with the
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public but that this thing still would happen. the result on that grieve amendment just then, it makes me wonder now if the cooper amendment will make it through. but i think the lesson that we've learned from brexit is if the canon can be kicked down the road a little bit longer then mps will do that. and theresa may said we're going to do all this again in a couple of weeks. so it looks like they will take that chance then, the mps, getting another two weeks to turn this around. not to get too technical about the cooper amendment but this is the only one that could be binding on the government because ultimately it would create legislation, a bill for debate. with that will get through parliament if somebody brexiteers wanted to stop it? probably, it creates some time for parliament in order to introduce and pass this build—up of all kinds of ways to stop the bill coming
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through and then on the 25th of february there would be another vote over whether to delay by three or by six months. then the eu would have to agree to that. so lots of individual stages before you get to the purpose of the bill which is to delay a no—deal brexit. so all kinds of hurdles in its way. it is not as simple as pressing the button on this vote and something happens. the other thing, just the idea of mps taking control of the parliamentary agenda and putting forward their own laws that would have been unheard of a few months ago and yet we're now on the knife edge of that happening tonight. sam, you are on a deadline and we must let you go. jack come over here. let's just take up one issue, the support that the erg have shown behind the prime minister
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tonight to go back to brussels and potentially reopen the withdrawal agreement and get something on the backstop. she has given a lot today, do you think, what is it that they would be satisfied with, doesn't have to be something legally binding within the withdrawal agreement or could it be something attached to that. they've been clear that this needs to be reopening that treaty and to rewrite it, something the eu has said time and again that they're not prepared to do. but the prime minister today succeeded and in doing and no one thought it would be possible, she was just about reunited her party today around this position. people say it will not be possible, but at least you're not seeing from the conservative party these warring factions in the way we've seen for the past few and months. how long that will
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last for, it might be a few hours, a few days or weeks but for party management thatis or weeks but for party management that is a big win for theresa may. j°ey that is a big win for theresa may. joeyjones is here, welcome. yvette cooper had quite a date today. the prime minister said this deal could not be reopened but now she's saying that it can. is tonight about keeping her on the pitch?” that it can. is tonight about keeping her on the pitch? i have mixed feelings about where we are now. in some ways i agree with what jack has said in terms of party management, it will be encouraging for herand her management, it will be encouraging for her and her colleagues to see the conservatives going through the same lobby. thinking back to those unprecedented photographs was saw people voting, all sorts of shenanigans going on with boris johnson cheek by jowl with jeremy corbyn and all the rest of
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it. it will feel a bit more familiar for them in terms of the way in which they are voting. but i keep wondering what would be the message that would come out for brussels this evening, what theresa may hopes it will be and this will depend on the numbers, she needs to get a win over the line, will be that you eu have said we need a positive voice from westminster and we have come out and said we want something, we wa nt out and said we want something, we want something this shape. it may be difficult for you but this is where we're headed. 0r alternatively with a look at what has gone on today and think you know what, theresa may has just torched the deal but she has been working on for the past two years. what was the point of all that effort, all that negotiation with the michel barnier team, with herteam, all with the michel barnier team, with her team, all the rest of it, with the michel barnier team, with herteam, allthe rest of it, being
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involved in over four months is basically on a whim, on the spin of advice, she would throw that away for something that she even a week ago would have said was probably a flight ago would have said was probably a flight of fancy. we are about to get the results. if she goes back to brussels and they say we're not going to be open the withdrawal agreement, is the deal ben dead? my concern is where we go from there. we know the parliament does not want no deal so they could vote again in a couple of weeks. but for no deal not to happen we need the agreement of the eu and they may say what have you been doing, as i say, you've just thrown up in the air all the work we've done in the past couple of years. the chancellor has said they need to know that we're heading forwards. that is not clear right now. as we wait for the result will go quickly to the lobby
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and dominic raab. the former brexit secretary is here now as we get to the second most important vote, the cooper amendment to try to prevent no deal. what you think of what has happened so far in the commons chamber? dominic grieve has failed. quite an important moment so far put up the prime minister has given assurances around the content of the changes she is going to be seeking after that. defeat on the early deal. that will strengthen the hand because mps we re will strengthen the hand because mps were receptive to that and are voting for that approach of going back to brussels. and say that there isa back to brussels. and say that there is a deal that the uk parliament will pass but we need these changes. that is the message in the house of commons. brussels already saying that they're not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement.”
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that they're not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement. i think they are engaging in classic diplomacy, going to the 11th hour, being intransigent, what you're seeing is that unless there are changes made then this deal, passed. well michel barnier last thursday said even in a no deal scenario we would not return toa no deal scenario we would not return to a hard water so it is the question of political choice. —— ha rd question of political choice. —— hard water. we need to test their sincerity and there will. and that is in the hands of the prime minister to do. widget in some ways perfect no deal to still be on the table and the cooper amendment to be voted down to focus the minds of the eu? that is right, i respect yvette cooper but this is opening up a pandora's box of other options and it takes us back to square one. we
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need to focus on what we have got, the government making changes but i will not insist on huge change in negotiations. if mps back that approach then that puts the prime minister in the best position to get a deal. if not then i think at least the country will see that we are doing our best. is this notjust theresa may kicking the canon down the road again, another two weeks? the last deal was voted down a huge majority so all she has to listen and the right thing is to go back the eu and say these are the focus changes we need and we can get that through parliament. do we have time to do that? as long as we do not get sucked down all these other garden path that mps are trying to get us down. that is why
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it is important that some of these amendments are voted down. we need to focus and get behind the approach that the prime minister has backed an centre to brussels with a reinforced negotiating position. let's get the result now. order. the ayes to the right, 298. the noes to the left, 321. the ice to the right, 298. the noes to the left, three the noes have it full stop the noes have it. we now come to amendment j full stop the noes have it. we now come to amendmentj
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in the name of rachel reeves. rachel reeves to move the amendment for mali. the biggest news of the evening, the yvette cooper amendment which would have extended article 50 has failed. let's go back to the young. what do you make of that? those attempts by backbench mps to try to dictate what happens next, so far they have failed. let's see what dominic raab has said about that. i think it is good news for those of us that want brexit deliberate and good news for the prime minister being able to go back to brussels with a strengthened hand without these other distractions and alternatives on the table. it is what the public want to see, a focused approach from theresa may that mps are backing. thank you very much.
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so all eyes now on brussels. so i think the mps are going out now for the caroline spelman amendment that would roll —— that would rule out no deal, again nonbinding on the government. we do not think that this will get approval either so shortly after this we would move the other important amendment of the evening, the brady amendment. that is right, there is support for the caroline spelman and jack dromey amendment, it is not binding, it would simply be the house of commons making it clear that they reject the idea of no deal. but it is not binding in the same way that the cooper amendment might have been. this is interesting, it is a senior conservative former cabinet minister
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caroline spelman working with a neighbouring labour mp, both concerned about manufacturing jobs in theirarea in concerned about manufacturing jobs in their area in the west midlands and they had been working together for several months and hoping that the government will rule out a no deal option. so we will see what happens with this but it would not be binding as i say on the government. so as we approach it a clock here we are in the midst of another important moment in the uk road to brexit. we've seen mps reject a series of amendments that would have asked orforced reject a series of amendments that would have asked or forced the government to change its approach to leaving the eu. the next few minutes we have boats on an amendment act by the government asking the prime minister to negotiate a different approach to ensuring no hard border on the island of ireland. we continue here on the bbc news channel. but fell out on bbc two it is goodbye from the palace of
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westminster. —— for now on bbc two. let's go back to vicki young who is in the house of commons. we've moved on to the caroline spelman amendment. this is the amendment that would rule out no deal. and it is nonbinding and the government. let's just reflect for a minute on the cooper amendment that has gone down and there will be no extension of article 50 at least not for now. it seems the pattern of the evening is the mps are persuaded by what the prime minister said today that they will get another opportunity to put some options forward in two weeks' time when she comes back with whatever she has been able to negotiate with brussels. there has
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been a big discussion on the remain side that 20 or maybe more mps would be willing to resign to prevent an ordeal scenario. the question has always been, do they have the numbers to do it, and also when is the moment that is the right time to act, high noon? they don't think this is the moment because there will be another chance to act. tonight's votes are not pretty neutral motion, if you like. if theresa may comes back with a new deal with the same deal, there will have to be another meaningful vote and, yet again, mps can put down amendments. it would mean that they would have another chance. one minister has been reassured by the whips that, yes, there
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would be another chance to vote around the 1ath 15th of another chance to vote around the 1ath15th of february, maybe the week after which is meant to be a recess, but it looks like there could well disappear. she is pretty much guaranteeing she will come back and a couple of weeks. mps are saying we are prepared to give you another couple of weeks to go back to the eu to see what you can get, but after that they may well act that she doesn't take no deal off the table. we are trying to follow closely the pattern of events tonight. we're moving from one amendment to the next. they are bolting now on the rachel reid amendment. let's spell i put that amendment. let's spell i put that amendment is. that would extend article 50 if there was no agreement by the 26th of february for two yea rs. by the 26th of february for two years. my feeling would be, that given that the yvette cooper has gone down, this would have less chance of passing. yes, i think so. the only thing that might
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make it different is that it's not binding. but maybe doesn't have the same significance. there was a lot of trepidation amongst mps on both sides about the yvette cooper removed because they thought it was going a step too far by giving mps the power to bring in new laws, something that is quite unusual, especially in these circumstances. that would have pulled off a certain number of mps. we are hearing from other labour mps that it was about ten labour mps possibly voting against yvette cooper's move, which meant there was the majority, even though meant there was the majority, even thoutheremy meant there was the majority, even though jeremy corbyn had meant there was the majority, even thoutheremy corbyn had asked his mps to back her amendment. it is interesting that it is the labourer brexit rebels, their numbers have been higher than they have been up until now, that could've scuppered that. we will have to see,
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it is looking unlikely that this amendment will go through. let me bring in my guests. welcome to you both. the labour front bench fell in behind the yvette cooper campaign today but it has fallen. yes, it has. if brady passes then theresa may will go back to brussels and it is clear that brussels will simply reject it, so it isjust delaying episode. it is difficult to understand what to reza may is doing at the moment apart from trying to hold a party together rather than trying to lead the country. go back to brussels, ireland has been cleared will be no changes to the backstop, so it is just a delaying exercise. henry, she has managed to pull in the er geed
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to fall in behind sir graham brady's amendment tonight that would open up the withdrawal agreement, and that the withdrawal agreement, and that the significant. it is. angie he hasn't lost control of the overall brexit process. she will not be forced at this stage to go to brussels and beg for an extension to article 50. she will be hoping that the brady amendment passes so that gives her a mandate for her to go back to brussels. what we have seen is that the different sides of the conservative party coming together around a brokered deal, it is like getting panders to me to get those two wins of the party to agree on anything, but that doesn't have much reference to what is negotiated in russells. looking at the yvette cooper amendment, there were concerns about the constitutional
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amendments that the mps trying to ta ke amendments that the mps trying to take the timetable and process away from the government. a lot of people we re very concerned from the government. a lot of people were very concerned about the fact that any form of delaying of article 50 and brexit would be seen as a possible risk for the entire process. understandably, a lot of mps wanted a lot more clarity and a lot of people are concerned about what crashing out with the new deal would mean. to take any's metaphor, yes to have these two pandas mating, but they are both sterile. nothing will happen in brussels. we don't know that. the malthouse plan will not work in its exact form. the second referendum does a happening. they are desperate to avoid no deal. . ultimately, we are talking about one or two lines on the backstop in
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a treaty that runs to 600 pages. is it worth having it all fall apart just for that? i don't think so. will they not look at the size of boat behind the yvette cooper amendment tonight and think, if we play hard ball, the reality is that that softer brexit will open up perhaps even know brexit will open up, so why give the prime minister something in this period of two weeks? is one of the issues is that to reza may going back to brussels send this is what i wanted, now i wa nt send this is what i wanted, now i want something different. ireland have been clear that any changes to the backstop would be unworkable. theresa may has to keep the ten dup mp is onside. at this point she does risk breaking up the union. wouldn't she say to them, if you didn't have ratification in the european parliament he would be saying we need to reopen this and get something extra to get
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it through the european parliament, this has a lwa ys the european parliament, this has always been the problem. that is right, if she can get this through the house of commons, which it didn't the deal will risk falling apart. she is trying to salvage it. it risks a hard border in ireland's. so vince cable said that this was just raising expectations foolishly. is there some compromise that the two sides could find on the backstop esther mcvey don't know it would be a cce pta ble esther mcvey don't know it would be acceptable to the er geed, but could you add something legal to the withdrawal agreement that gives them some hope? i don't think so. theresa may is trying to alter party together tonight. she has to decide whether or not to see the complete
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kamikaze collapse of the conservatives or any form of brexit deal on the other hand. two weeks ago she tried to push brexit forward , ago she tried to push brexit forward, the tories pushed back as the deliberate. now the conservatives have come together, but ijust conservatives have come together, but i just can't conservatives have come together, but ijust can't see it happening. new were talking about the two sides of the party, the two pandas! there is this compromise, the malthouse compromise, which has brought the likes of nicky morgan and the er geed together around a plan. dodd this graham brady amendment tonight lay open the path to that kind of compromise? it does. i don't think in its current form it can go forward but it did do certain things. it would need to be legally binding, likea things. it would need to be legally binding, like a mini treaty. that would be between
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the eu and uk, making clear the circumstances in which the uk could lead the backstop. the withdrawal agreement is contradictory, it says on the one hand that the backstop would be temporary, and on the other hand it says it will apply until a future relationship comes along. the uk is saying, we can't in good faith sign up saying, we can't in good faith sign up to something that lasts until there is a future relationship if you don't think that can be a future relationship. given that we have had a serious of amendments tonight, albeit they are looking to the future when they can vote again, but didn't she say to the eu, we have had votes and other amendments that would potentially bring about these boats, but this is the only deal in town at the moment? she could to, but she has had two years.
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she thought that was acceptable to the uk and there are still no movement. lee over radtke has been very clear that he would be happy with the brady amendment. a poll yesterday said that in the events of the new deal brexit, the majority of people would want to see irish unity. at the moment, they are trying together —— trying to hold together the conservative party at the risk of breaking up the entire of the uk. we think we are about a minute away from the boat. we are voting at the moment on the rachel reid amendment that would extend article 50 by two yea rs. the ayes to the right — 290. the noes to the left — 322. the ayes to the right — 290. the noes to the left - 322. the ayes
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to the right — 290. the noes to the left — the right — 290. the noes to the left - 322. the right — 290. the noes to the left — 322. the noes habit, that noes have it. unlock! we now come to amendment! noes have it. unlock! we now come to amendment i in the name of dean caroline spelman. the question is that amendment i be made. as many of that amendment i be made. as many of that opinion say ayes? of the contrary, no. division, clearthe lobby! that was the fifth amendment of the evening. again defeated. 322-290. quite of the evening. again defeated. 322—290. quite a lot of mps are getting behind some of these amendments which would suggest that if we come back to it in
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two weeks there may be greater support for some of these amendments and they might go through. we move on to the dean caroline spelman amendment, which we set out earlier. this would rule out a new deal, but it would be non—binding on the government. this from the conservative dean caroline spelman. vicki young is in the lobby. all of the amendments have gone down so far. we are almost on the cusp of this graham brady amendment. what do you say about what we are seeing here tonight? this one could be interesting this one. it might go through because it isn't binding on the government. it isn't binding on the government. it is more that the house of commons, really for the first time, is getting a chance to clearly state of the prime minister we will not accept a new deal. it would be a
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clear indication of where they are and giving notice to her that when the time comes, maybe in two weeks, that there would be willing to it to go against no deal. the key thing here would be labour mps. it does seem that the labour mps think there are maybe 15 labour mps that flooded with the government. that is the brexit rebels on the labour side, a much higher number than we have had up much higher number than we have had up to nine. they are concerns about looking to be the ones that are going to block brexit. that has scuppered, it seems, yvette cooper's attem pts scuppered, it seems, yvette cooper's atte m pts to scuppered, it seems, yvette cooper's attem pts to ta ke scuppered, it seems, yvette cooper's attempts to take no deal off the table. it may well be that they switch back and go against the government. this next one to go through. caroline spelman has been saying for weeks that she is not a
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natural rebel. she has been a senior cabinet minister, been in the tory party all her life. she does not rebel on a whim, so the fact that she and others are willing to defy the government is quite significant. this could be one to watch. it is interesting what you say about the labour rebels going over to the conservatives. it speaks about the division there is in the labour party, particularly among the northern mps who are from brexit constituencies. a lot of them are in a real dilemma. a handful voted for theresa may's deal, others privately feel that that will be the right thing to do. they don't want no deal, they want to deliver on brexit, but they don't like theresa may's deal. they needed to be won over. the thought amongst government ministers at one point is that they could get over a large number of
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labourmps, could get over a large number of labour mps, but it hasn't happened also interesting though that that number has risen tonight. divisions the labour party also over at the second referendum. at conference last autumn, the labour party membership voted to make sure that that option of another referendum was kept the table. the wording they came up with was that everything has to be in the mix. they have been trying to put pressure onjeremy corbyn to back a second referendum, which he hasn't done. he also doesn't want to be seen to be blocking brexit. he will come under a lot of pressure after this. people will feel that their push for a general election hasn't happened, it now seems with yvette cooper being defeated here, that will ramp up again on the labour side pressure on jeremy corbyn to get behind another referendum. thank you. there
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is a fair bit of support forjim caroline spelman on this amendment, she is not a natural rebel. if that went through in the next few minutes, would it make theresa may's job a lot harder? i don't think so particularly. the house of commons has voted for an amendment that restricted the money going to and your preparation. you can'tjust be against no deal, you have to be in favour of something. it doesn't look like people are in favour of revoking article 15. the labour party don't like this current deal, . .. party don't like this current deal,... neither party don't like this current deal, . .. neither labour party don't like this current deal,... neither labour party are saying we don't the steel. there has been a real dilemma for a
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labour in the last few days, they did know whether to whip on the immigration deal last night and that went through all stop now today, on this amendment that yvette cooper has put forward , amendment that yvette cooper has put forward, 15 labour rebels called to the conservative side. one of the big problems in labour at the moment is that they have a big issue with immigration and freedom of movement. they have to decide what traditionally labour have done is listened to polling groups etc, or whether they try to change the national conversation about immigration. if they stick to the argument that you should restrict freedom of movement and immigration, they laments, there are campaigners are potentially lose the election. with brexit, they are trying to have it both ways, make sure that their mps in leave seats are comfortable with what is going on. at the moment, labour are trying to let brexit go—ahead,
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but they want a softer brexit. is it likely that some of those labour mps will get behind this sir graham brady amendment tonight? yes, but i think the majority will still vote against it. isn't the reality that be nice have got so far down the road, today is the 29th of january, two months to brexit day exactly, even if you had a deal this week there wouldn't be enough time to put the legislation through.” be enough time to put the legislation through. i think there isa legislation through. i think there is a difference between asking for a short technical extension, what is harder is asking for an open—ended extension. yvette cooper's built, that would lead them to a piece of legislation which would lead to a path for a longer extension. that was going to last for nine months. a nine—month extension would be difficult, complex on the eu side, because all 27 need to
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agree. the major say, we don't want you just asking for more and more changes, the deal is done. i'm glad that amendment didn't pass because what it would have done is take the pressure off mps to find a sensible compromise and taken the pressure of brussels to come back to the table. it may be that in two weeks, the 13th of february, when another motion is put down, mps will put down another bid to extend the process. are you saying that that in effect gives them three or four weeks to work with? she has time now to do this. definitely. if article 50 is extended in any way it will have to be for a specific reason, so to get certain parts of legislation through and the eu will be clear about how long that will take. it has to be about something very
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specific. otherwise, the eu will not agree to it. there is no reason to let britain hang around. with just two months ago, lots of people at home will be scratching their head saying, things are getting very tight. vicki young, we could be in this situation in three or four weeks still looking for a way through and the other side of that we would only have four weeks to brexit day. there are some who fear that the prime minister's strategy is to run the clock down. she has had to come back today because she was forced to, but two weeks ago, there was most sign of a plan b up until today. people say the plan b, that need to get brussels to reopen the withdrawal agreement, they will just say no. what did the boats tell
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you about what is going on in there tonight? this is the fifth boat and so far from the prime minister's point of view, we have been winning the votes but by a narrow mind, between 20 and 30 on each boat. theresa may has said she wants to reopen the withdrawal agreement. people in brussels saying that will not happen. does she need the graham brady amendment to go through to give her this mandate to go there and say i need big changes to the backstop? it would be hugely helpful in orderto backstop? it would be hugely helpful in order to get change from europe. we need to demonstrate their is a majority in parliament for something. that doesn't guarantee that durable change, but if you can say to them, change this sentence with this paragraph and we can guarantee it will go through the house of commons, that is powerful. some have looked at the graham brady amendment and said it is really vague. that might alight —— it
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might allow the dup to walk through the lobby, but what does it tell voters about what you're trying to achieve? and what does it communicate to the european union? it needs to be specific enough for the european union to read it and be reassured that if they make a change still get that if they make a change still get that majority in parliament. what about the moves to take no deal of the table or delay they have been deleted defeated so far. what does that tell you about where the house of commons is? i don't want no deal. it would be economically very damaging. not catastrophic, but it would mean a difficult economic time. the votes you have seen today basically showed that the house of commons is going to take through brexit. a lot of these
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boats which claimed to be about taking no deal of the table are actually moves by people who were remainers trying to move for a second referendum. the house of commons tonight has reconfirmed that it is not in favour of delaying article 50. it wants a brexit deal. what you're saying to the european union is, please make this change, and unless the change goes through, there is still a high chance that you will have no deal, which means worse situation for the republic of ireland than what they would get through the amendment proposed by graham brady. was theresa may bright to go down the route of trying to win over the respect —— us in your own party and the dup, rather than going for votes on the labour side? it is a difficultjudgment on the labour side? it is a difficult judgment to make. on the labour side? it is a difficultjudgment to make. my on the labour side? it is a difficult judgment to make. my gut instinct is that the votes went there on the labour side. if labour
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wanted and laura wake arrangement or a softer brexit, they would've had to have gone through the withdrawal agreement to get that. there was nothing legally binding in the withdrawal agreement that would have prevented a type arrangement. in fa ct, prevented a type arrangement. in fact, the backstop the city was that. what we learnt was in the end, a lot of european member states, felt it was a pretty good deal and we re felt it was a pretty good deal and were expecting labour to vote in favour. what we discovered is that they didn't and the prime minister had little choice other than to try and get votes where she could. plan bis to and get votes where she could. plan b is to try and gordon changed the backstop. what is clancy, if the european union say, we are not going to change. i hope they will change, the default at the moment is no deal. do you think that that will focus their minds, given that they don't want that either?” focus their minds, given that they
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don't want that either? i hope so. it isa don't want that either? i hope so. it is a very difficult negotiation. remember, the reason why the republic of ireland and europe wanted the backstop is to stop their being a border in arrogance. if there was no deal that would be. they wouldn't achieve anything by insisting on the backstop and then not getting a majority. i hope this can be the beginning of some pragmatism. the ayes to the right — 318. the noes to the left — 310. the ayes to the right — 318. the noes to the left - 310. the ayes to the right — 318. the noes to the left — the right — 318. the noes to the left - 310. the right — 318. the noes to the left — 310. so, the ayes habit, the 22 have it.
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order! we now come to amendment ten in the name of sir graham brady. to move formally? thank you. the question is that amendment m be made. as many are of that opinion say aye? on the contrary, no? division! clearthe lobby! so, as we move on to that next amendment, that is the first government defeat of the evening. mps have voted to say that they reject the united kingdom leaving the european union without an withdrawal agreement and a framework for the future relationship, so saying they are not prepared to leave the european union without a deal. it is important to say this is not binding on the
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government, but nevertheless it is probably the clearest vote that we have had demonstrating that in the house of commons mps are against the idea of no deal. this is a cross—party amendment. caroline spelman, senior conservative, alongside her neighbouring labour mp, jack drone the. that is just gone through. so, a government defeat this evening on no deal. and on a significant issue. although it is not binding on the government, it puts the negotiation with the european union in a different light. in the past it would've been sent to the european union please accept this or there will be no deal. the suggestion now is that will not happen. sorry, i can hear the bell. i have to go. would you have voted for the
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caroline spelman amendment?” would you have voted for the caroline spelman amendment? i think that no deal would be damaging but i don't think this was the right time to votes for and no deal. thank you. thank you very much indeed. he thinks that is significant because it changes the dynamic of the negotiation. there are some, including some in downing street, who wanted the new deal option to remain on the table because they think that focuses the mind of both sides in this negotiation given that the eu don't want no deal either. this is signalling to the eu that at some point, maybe in two weeks, the house of commons would move to prevent and no—deal brexit. house of commons would move to prevent and no-deal brexit. very interesting. thank you. let's get some initial reaction to that from brussels. damian grammaticus is therefore russ. rory stewart calls that significant. in a way, it does confirm the worst kept secret that the house of commons was never in favour of a new deal brexit. yes, you are right. it gives that indication at least. there
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are different ways of achieving a new deal brexit, one of which is to support the government's deal now, so it would bring those sort of people on board, along with others who want a totally different type of deal. the ways to 02:29:16,1000 --> 02:29:18,023 achieve the no—deal brexit come down to support disagreements that has taken so long to come together. the uk could also seek an extension of the negotiation period, it does not provide no deal but a pit stop the prospect. or the government is open to the uk to withdraw its brexit notification and cancelled the whole thing entirely. it opens up different avenues under different reasons why people might have voted for this, but it brings a different flavour to the negotiations. rory stewart was just saying a minute ago at the prospect of no deal would be something that would force
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northern ireland to confront the idea of a border being put in place. these choices that uk has to confront, it was the uk's decision to go for brexit and pursue a particularform of it, and the difficult choices that presents for the uk parliament to work out. it doesn't clarify everything, but it adds a bit of flavour. they go out for the final amendment of the evening. this is the one tabled by graham brady, the chairman of the conservative 1922 committee which represents backbench mps. graham brady's amendment
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supports leaving the eu with the deal and would support the prime minister's withdrawal agreement are subject to that change on the backstop, and importantly the government has said to get behind this amendment. it will be close but it will be interesting to see whether it goes through. chris morris is here. let's zoom through. chris morris is here. let's zoom out to 30,000 feet and have a look at what has been happening tonight. how does this change the brexit story? nothing has changed. i gave you such a good billing. the one thing we knew, we knew there was a majority against no deal, and we have had a vote that confirms that, but what is there a majority for? we don't know. even if the brady amendment passes, it is a majority for saying, let's try again, alternative arrangements to the
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backstop, that means reopening of the withdrawal agreement, the legally binding agreement that has been so painstakingly negotiated between the eu and the uk. emmanuel macron has said we are not reopening it, and it would not surprise me if the brady amendment passes but within an hour we have a an statement saying, you are wasting your time. so, what's the future, weather —— brexiteers might say. this is trying to force the government down a particular path and this might alienate one half of the country. we know the country is divided and has been divided for two yea rs. divided and has been divided for two years. are the eu trying to steer us
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down a particular path? probably, they would like us to stay in a permanent customs union and they know there is a considerable amount of support for that in the house of commons, we do not know if that could form a majority, and there is the argument we could have a series of indicative rates but that amendment did not pass today. —— indicative votes. we rumble on with the same argument but it is exactly two months today. march 20 night, u nless two months today. march 20 night, unless something changes, under law at the moment, uk law and eu law, the uk will leave the eu without a deal or not —— march 29. the uk will leave the eu without a deal or not -- march 29. will people see big support may be for a softer brexit today, maybe people will see this as the last stand for theresa may's deal? it feels that is probably the case. if she goes back with her dior and says, i
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want to reopen the withdrawal agreement, and the eu says absolutely not —— her deal. it is then hard to see where her deal goes from there. there's been a presumption that the eu has one more card in its pocket but it will only that if they have a reasonable expectation that the extra concession getting to the house of commons, but what is really important is there could be a additional legal guarantee but it won't be anything that goes against what he has already been legally agreed. it is possible they could literally do a 180 degrees turn and reopen the withdrawal agreement but they have not done that in the past and when people talk about previous treaties, they have made amendments, they have always offered clarification and i have never actually unpick something. —— they have never. the speaker hasjust locked the door. caroline spelman's amendment is non—binding.
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is there a scenario where the government could ignore it and play chicken? because the exit date is set down in legislation, in statute, you have to have statute to replace that, could that play chicken? you have asked me if there is a scenario, and there is a scenario for everything, yes, it could, in the final analysis, if there are mps who are determined to stop a no—deal brexit and the government is continuing to motor down that road, the only way they can do that is to remove that government, you would need to have a majority for that. there's not a majority for that. there's not a majority for that the moment. there are very big decisions coming up for are very big decisions coming up for a lot of mps and they are all aware that these are the biggest decisions they are going to make in their life as parliamentarians and they are coming thick and fast in the next few weeks. when you look at how that might evolve, the likes of anna
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soubry says she will have to put country before party and she would probably vote against the government if it came to a motion of no confidence so there would be a way for parliament to stop the government. if you get a majority in parliament against the government, the government falls, and then you still have the deadline on the 29th of march and then you have the question of somebody may be extending article 50, but don't forget that has got to be agreed with all other 27 members of the eu. they would want to know what the plan was. they do not want to open plan was. they do not want to open plan extend extender so the deadlock can continue in the house of commons. we have been talking about this for more than two years but big decisions arejust this for more than two years but big decisions are just around the corner. still we go over all of those scenarios. chris morris, thanks forjoining us. we will get a result on the graham brady amendment, but as we wait we can bring back vicky. there
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has been a lot of talk in the back room corridors, trying to get the most ardent eurosceptics on the side of the government for this amendment. they have succeeded. but whether they have succeeded enough to cou ntera ct they have succeeded enough to counteract the conservatives who will not go for it or the labour vote is another matter. but that eurosceptic group of mps, the erg, they have said they will get behind it, most of them, and they see this asa it, most of them, and they see this as a chance to get a different kind of brexit, really. they want to reopen the withdrawal agreement and change the backstop and change what happens after that, so they think this could do that. the question is whether this amendment in the end will do any more than make the conservative party feel it is more together than it has been for a while. the dup are also onside with this so it stands a good chance. it just depends on those conservatives on the other side of the
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argument. to go back quickly to the yvette cooper amendment, 1a labour mps defied jeremy corbyn and voted against the amendment. on the other side 17 conservatives voted for it, defying their leader, so that shows you the rebellions on both side, there were also abstentions. 1a brexit supporting labour mps deciding to vote against yvette coopehs deciding to vote against yvette cooper's attempt to really change the way things work here and bring ina new the way things work here and bring in a new bill potentially to take no deal off the table. what is interesting, the caroline spelman amendment, although not binding, they have the numbers, if they choose to act, in a couple of weeks, to prevent no deal. it is interesting what message that sends to the eu, do they then think, we are not heading for a no deal because parliament will stop it? that might change the way they react and what theresa may will ask them
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in the next couple of days, we assume. she has had phone calls with people like jean—claude juncker and she would have contact with them, and we also know eu leaders have said they are not going back on this, they are not reopening this deal. we will have to see what happens but it looks like we house of commons chamber is pretty full as they wait for the result. indicates it is pretty close, when there is a slight delay at the end. the tellers are counting the crucial votes. if you look closely you can sometimes tell who has won because the tellers who have won will stand on the right hand side of the table as we look at it and the others will stand on the other side. they sometimes swap over at the last moment to confuse you. they come in and they stand before the speak out on the right—hand side you will see
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the winners. this will be crucial for theresa may, you will see the winners. this will be crucialfor theresa may, she you will see the winners. this will be crucial for theresa may, she said she wanted a mandate to go back to the eu to show what she could get through parliament. cheering order. order. the ayes to the right, 317, the noes to the left, 301. the ayes to the right, 317, the noes to the left, 301. i think the ayes have it, the ayes have it. unlock. the question is the main motion as amended, as many as
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are of that opinion say aye. on the contrary "no". i think the ayes have it, the ayes have it. order. ona ayes have it, the ayes have it. order. on a point of order, the prime minister. cheering ona point on a point of order, a fortnight ago this house rejected the proposed withdrawal agreement and political declaration, with just 202 withdrawal agreement and political declaration, withjust 202 members voting in favour, and tonight a majority of honourable members have said they would support a deal with changes to the backstop, combined with measures to address concerns over parliament's with measures to address concerns over pa rliament‘s role with measures to address concerns over parliament's role in the negotiation of the future relationship. and commitments on workers' rights in law where need be, it is now clear that there is a route that can secure substantial and sustainable... cheering
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substantial and sustainable majority in this house for leaving the eu with a deal. we will now take this mandate forward and seek to obtain legally binding changes to withdrawal agreement, the deal with concerns “— withdrawal agreement, the deal with concerns —— that deals with concerns on the backstop and guarantees no return to a hard border between ireland and northern ireland and we will talk to the eu about how we address these views. as i said this afternoon, there is limited appetite for such a change in the eu and negotiating it will not be easy... laughter but in contrast to a fortnight ago, this house has made it clear what it needs to approve the withdrawal agreement and many members have said the continuing protection of workers' rights after brexit is something that needs to be strengthened and the secretary of state for business will intensify work with members across the house and trade unions
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this week and the secretary of state for exiting the eu will do the same with how we engage the house further in improving our future relationship with the eu, and as well as making clear what changes it needs to approve the withdrawal agreement the houseis approve the withdrawal agreement the house is also reconfirming its view that it does not want to leave the eu without a withdrawal agreement and future framework. i agree that we should not leave without a deal, however, simply... simply opposing no deal is not enough to stop it. the government will now redouble its effo rts the government will now redouble its efforts to get a deal that this house can support and to that end i wa nt to house can support and to that end i want to invite the member for meriden, the member for want to invite the member for meriden, the memberfor birmingham erdington and all those that tabled amendments in opposition to no deal to discuss how we can deliver that by securing a deal. in light of the defeat of the member of the
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leader of the opposition's amendment, i again invite him to take up my offer ofa again invite him to take up my offer of a meeting to see if we can find a way forward. if this house can come together we can deliver the decision the british people took injune 2016, restore faith in our democracy and get on with building a country that works for everyone, and as prime minister i will work with members across the house to do just that. point of order, the leader the opposition. since we have had this debate and the house emphatically voted to reject the no deal option, that the prime minister was supporting, could i say that we are prepared to meet her and to put forward the points of view from the labour party, of the kind of agreement we want with the eu, to protect jobs, protect agreement we want with the eu, to protectjobs, protect living standards and to protect rights and conditions in this country, exactly
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the offer that was made last september, exactly the offer that was made two weeks ago and i look forward to meeting the prime minister to set out those views to her on behalf of my party. the point of order, ian blackford. thank you. this house has spoken... order, order, the right honourable gentleman is the leader of the third party in this place and he represents an important body of opinion. as was exhorted earlier, people should treat opinions that differ from their own with respect. the right honourable gentleman, he will be heard, however long it takes, and that is all there is to it. mr ian blackford. the house has given an instruction to the government that no deal must be taken off the table and i am flabbergasted frankly that the prime
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minister still seems to be in denial. i ask what measure the prime minister will bring forward, what legislation she will bring forward, to make sure we remove that threat of no dealfrom to make sure we remove that threat of no deal from legislation. this to make sure we remove that threat of no dealfrom legislation. this is a sad day where the prime minister has had to admit that her deal does not have the support and that she isn't prepared now to pick her way at the backstop —— and is now prepared to pick away at the backstop. we were told the backstop was to preserve the peace process but not the conservative party has effectively ripped apart the good friday agreement. —— but tonight the conservative party. this house should be ashamed of itself, the co nte m pt should be ashamed of itself, the contempt shown by the uk government right across these islands... this government has no respect for the devolved administration. and for the other places in the united kingdom. scotla nd other places in the united kingdom. scotland has been sidelined and
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shafted by the tories, and tonight the conservative party has ripped apart the good friday agreement, the international treaty... this is serious, we are talking about a treaty which has delivered peace to the island of ireland. what they have done is to relate on the backstop and run age on the good friday agreement. —— ring age —— good friday agreement and the peace process, that this government are prepared to disregard. order, order. i would take his question as a rhetorical question rather than as a rhetorical question rather than as a substantive question, and he knows that parliament is here to debate and to vote, and he is well familiar... order. he has
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the mechanisms of the house available to him. iwill take mechanisms of the house available to him. i will take other points of order briefly. point of order, vince cable. now the house has given the prime minister a contradictory instruction, to have no deal but to pursue a course of action that will lead to no deal, will she return to the house tomorrow and give clear indication about what these alternative arrangements actually are which have been rejected by her own summit at chequers but now appear to be the basis of negotiation? i'm very grateful for that point of order, but what i would say to him, and i know he will ta ke would say to him, and i know he will take this in the right spirit, this is not prime ministers questions. that will take place tomorrow. i think if i understand correctly, the right honourable gentleman was more concerned to make his point than to elicit a reply from the prime ministerand elicit a reply from the prime minister and there's no reason for
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the prime minister to feel any need to reply tonight. the honourable gentleman has made his point and there will be ample opportunity for further exchanges doubtless tomorrow and many subsequent days. the point of order, mr nigel dodds. thank you very much indeed. can ijust say on behalf of... i know we represent ten seats in northern ireland and the honourable lady represents one and there are others who represent a different perspective but he refused to ta ke different perspective but he refused to take their seats in this house, but it is quite frankly outrageous, i'm speaking on behalf of both communities in northern ireland, to say that this vote tonight drives a... itis say that this vote tonight drives a... it is utterly reckless to talk on those terms, utterly reckless.
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the fact of the matter is, nobody in northern ireland and no political party is advocating any kind of hard border in the island of ireland and we certainly do not advocate what others advocate which is creating borders within the uk. can i say in conclusion, this is a significant night because for the first time the house by a majority has expressed what deal, the sort of deal that will get through, and will have a majority and we will work with the prime minister to deliver the right dealfor the uk. prime minister to deliver the right deal for the uk. cheering studio: that brings the debate to an end. a couple of lines of breaking news. you heard from jeremy corbyn, he will hold face—to—face talks with the prime minister now the
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amendment of caroline spelman which will call for no deal, it is not binding, but it calls for the government to take no deal off the table, now that has been approved he will meet with the prime minister. an immediate response from donald tusk of the european council president, he said the withdrawal agreement remains the best and only way of ensuring an orderly withdrawal of the uk from the eu, and the backstop is part of the eu, and the backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement and the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation, and we can now go to vicky in the palace of westminster. that was interesting. theresa may saying she feels this is the route through to a deal and to the uk leaving the eu with a deal and she says she recognises that the house has voted to say that it doesn't accept a no deal scenario. we can speak to liz truss. donald tusk is
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saying already that the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened and that it has been negotiated and signed off and there is no movement. although the tory party feels unified tonight, does it really mean anything? the houses of parliament has spent a while this evening and it has sent a strong message and it has been very clear about what it wants, with changes to the backstop... for weeks the eu said they want to know what the will of parliament is, there is no potential deal that satisfies a majority in parliament, and we have shown tonight that there is a deal that will satisfy the majority in parliament that we could get through, and what i want to see now is the prime minister, going over to the eu, having discussions, and put that case, but there are many options on the table. about the way we look at the backstop. fundamentally, parliament has expressed its view, there is a way through, and that is very positive.
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how would you persuade donald tusk and the others? other eu leaders have said they will not renegotiate. how do you persuade them? we have seen movement from various different individuals in european politics and what we need to do is sit down with them and work out a way through. if this is not an extreme amendment, this is not an extreme amendment, this is not an extreme amendment, this is a sensible amendment that proposes a variety of ways to the problem, and i now think that because the house of commons has made its view very clear, the ball is now in the court of the eu, how can we come up with an arrangement which works for the eu and the uk parliament? it is a positive step forward. we could go people said there was no way through and there was no possible deal to command parliamentary support but that has been proven wrong today. it is now time for the eu to show flexibility so that we are able to secure a deal because this is in our interests and
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in their interests. if they show that flexibility, it will require an eu summitand that flexibility, it will require an eu summit and more negotiations, you think we can do this and get legislation through by the end of march? surely we are looking at the extension of article 50? we can get the necessary legislation through, it would have to be pared back but it would have to be pared back but it is important that we are able to do that by the 29th of march. parliament voted for the 29th of march to be the day that we leave the eu. i don't want to see that delayed and the reality is in any decision, as you get closer to the deadline people speed up to hit the deadline, so the deadline has been helpful in terms of getting this debate going and making sure that we are getting those final arrangements agreed with the eu, and it is important to mention that parliament has voted on the specific issue of the backstop, the rest of the withdrawal agreement has been accepted and this is one element
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which needs to be dealt with them andl which needs to be dealt with them and i think that is something we can work with and the eu can work with. liz truss, thanks for joining work with and the eu can work with. liz truss, thanks forjoining us. optimism from people in the cabinet that the eu will show flexibility and maybe reopen the withdrawal agreement to renegotiate the backstop. other mps are now circling around you, so i'm sure we will be back with you very shortly. we have had one defeat for the government, the amendment from caroline spelman, taking no deal off the table, although it was not binding on the government, but that has opened up a route to talks cross within the house of commons, jeremy corbyn say now the amendment has been approved he is prepared to meet the prime minister for face—to—face talks. the other news, two weeks ago, the conservative party was so divided, the deal went down by 230 votes, but tonight they have come together to get behind the amendment of graham brady. it gives the
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prime minister a mandate, perhaps, to go to the european union. a rainy night here in westminster, plenty of reaction to what we have witnessed. we can now go back to vicky. i have graham brady who has been successful in his amendment tonight and he can explain what it all means. there is confusion, some say this is very vague and it simply says alternative backstop arrangements, what do you mean? says alternative backstop arrangements, what do you mean7m leaves the space for the government to negotiate alternative arrangements, that were specific in terms of the memo, that those arrangements based —— in terms of the amendment, that those arrangements were the amendment, that those arrangements were specific in terms of not having a border in the island of not having a border in the island of ireland. we have a majority of 16
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tonight, and i think there's a good chance that this has broken the deadlock and this is now allowing us to move forward and the prime minister will go back to brussels to seek material changes to the withdrawal agreement and she would do this on tangible proof that there isa do this on tangible proof that there is a majority for an outcome in the house of commons but it is possible with those changes to the backstop, that we can get something through and we can move forward and we can deliver the departure from the eu that the british people voted for and do this in a way which is orderly and takes us into the transition period and gives business certainty and all of the good things that we withdrawal agreement contains relating to citizens' rights and rights for employees and so on. some would say this is like living in a parallel universe, the conservative party and the dup are feeling united tonight, and yet the
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eu has said they will not reopen the withdrawal agreement and they have been saying that now for months. we have also had a number of labour mps and also abstaining rather than voting against, all of which was very helpful, and what we have done is demonstrate there is a will in parliament which crosses parties, to see the uk moving forward, and one of the things we have been hearing for the last couple of weeks especially since the withdrawal agreement was rejected was the eu saying, why should we move and why should be compromised when we don't believe there's anything you can do that commands a majority in the house of commons? —— why should we compromise. we have proven them wrong and we have demonstrated there isa wrong and we have demonstrated there is a majority for something in the house of commons. what about the defeat for the government, mps making it clear they will not accept ano making it clear they will not accept a no deal scenario. it is not binding but that is a very clear expression from mps that when the
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time comes they will act to stop that happening. it was important that happening. it was important that the house voted down the measures that might actually frustrate the process of brexit and emotion that was passed, caroline spelman's motion, it was a vote expressing a preference not to have a departure from the eu without a deal, but i would politely say that was also achieved by those members who voted for my amendment. which expressed a clear preference for a deal with the withdrawal agreement and for us to do that broadly in line with the negotiations that has taken line with the negotiations that has ta ken place today, line with the negotiations that has taken place today, that is a practical and real solution i hope we will now unlock the logjam and let us move forward. graham brady, thanks forjoining us. hello, i'm ros
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atkins. this is outside source. the brexit story continues to twist and turn. the ayes to the right — 317. the noes to the left — 301. parliament has supported an amendment that demands theresa may's deal with the european union is renegotiated. the prime minister had to reverse course earlier to back changing her own agreement, but she was encouraged by the result in the commons. it is now clear that there is a route that can secure a substantial and sustainable... substantial and sustainable majority in this house ford leaving the eu with a deal. parliament also voted to voted for an amendment by a conservative mp that rejected a no—deal
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brexit. that was a narrow defeat for the government, but let's not overplay this — it's non—binding. the eu was quick to respond, eu council president donald tusk

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