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tv   BBC News Special  BBC News  March 29, 2019 2:15pm-3:15pm GMT

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extension would probably be a long one, and that would certainly mean holding european elections. so, approvingly withdrawal agreement today avoids a cliff edge... of the most momentous days in pa rliament‘s history. today — should have been brexit day — at 11pm tonight the united kingdom was due to leave the european union. but that is not what has happened. instead we have this extraordinary situation where in 15 minutes‘ time — mps will vote on brexit again. but they are not voting on the prime minister's full brexit deal — that has been resoundingly rejected twice now. instead, they are just voting on the withdrawal agreement — the divorce deal. what they won't vote on is the political declaration —
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the path forward if the divorce is agreed. we'll explain more in a moment. first, this is the scene here in westminster — as mps try to decide the nation's future, protesters for both leave and remain are out in force — the atmosphere is electric — emotions are running very high. the crucial vote is at 2:30pm. the prime minister is already on her feet right now making a final plea to mps to back her deal. she will be closing the debate in about ten minutes‘ time, telling mps this is their last chance to deliver the sort of brexit that the british people voted for almost three years ago now, but will she get enough votes this time? our assistant political editor norman smith is here. the numbers, how are they looking? pretty tight? very tight, if you wound back to first thing this
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morning you would say mrs may is going down to another bad defeat. the brexiteers seemed solid. the story of this monarchist fortress brexit, the stonework has been crumbling all over the place, one by one they have been peeling off to say they would come on board and back mrs may's deal. figures like dominic raab who first thing this morning said he was happy with where he was, just before lunchtime, they are coming on board. speculation too about jacob rees—mogg. he are coming on board. speculation too aboutjacob rees—mogg. he has said he would never abandon the dup. some of the brexiteers i've been speaking to say, watch this space. the reason is because many of them fear that u nless is because many of them fear that unless they bite on the steel, and they don't like it, but unless they bite on it they can see parliament getting hold of the process and pushing for a much slower, softer brexit and possibly even derailing brexit. i think a moment of truth has descended upon many of them. my guess is mrs may, she is inching, inching closer. there is still
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enough of them probably to thwart her, particularly when you add on board the dup. so today i think she mightjust fall short board the dup. so today i think she might just fall short but the board the dup. so today i think she mightjust fall short but the one thing she gets is what's called the big mo, the big momentum, getting real movement in your direction, i think bill clinton coined it. last time she went down by 149. were she to bring the votes right down to ten, doesn't, then she is in the market to try again and maybe get it over the line. so we could see this back if she loses it again today? what i think may well happen is on monday, it is parliament's turn, they will try and get their act together. remember last week they we re together. remember last week they were all over the place and couldn't agree on anything and it was a com plete agree on anything and it was a complete shambles and they know it was a shambles and they must do better on monday, so there are effo rts better on monday, so there are efforts amongst mps to agree amongst themselves and that means people who support a people's vote going with the idea of a customs union and
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people who support a customs union accepting the idea of a people's vote so you come up with an amendment which could be something like, we will have a sort of customs union which has to be agreed in a confirmatory referendum, so they can all agree on that. so parliament will have a big push on monday. if they do not manage to get that majority, i expect mrs may to come back later in the week with what's called the withdrawal bill and she will try and get a majority for that. last thing, i think she will try and convert that withdrawal bill into a meaningful vote. try and convert that withdrawal bill into a meaningfulvote. so many ifs and buts. the crucial moment is in ten minutes' time when mps go out to vote. let's go live to brussels, our europe editor katya adler is there, just watching and waiting and wondering, i imagine. yeah, the eu has given up trying to predict what is going to happen in the uk, or how parliament is going to vote. we heard just a few moments ago from michel barnier, the eu's
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chief brexit negotiator, and he spoke directly to mps and said that they should be very conscious of their duty today and of the consequences of a their duty today and of the consequences of a no—deal brexit. of course, if the vote goes in favour of the withdrawal agreement, that pa rt of of the withdrawal agreement, that part of the brexit deal today, eu leaders will be delighted and it means they can then spend between i'iow means they can then spend between now and the 22nd of may working out that political declaration, that document on future post brexit eu— uk relations. that, of course, would be the ideal scenario for the eu but really leaders are not holding their breath today and i can tell you today, sophie, for the first time since the beginning of this brexit process, the eu has been discussing i'io process, the eu has been discussing no deal, so a no—deal brexit, is a very real scenario rather than something distant and very, very unlikely. so, they are watching with bated breath today. i would add to what norman said there earlier about those who were looking towards future relations with the eu and wa nt future relations with the eu and want to vote on that on monday,
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officially, the eu has only given the uk up until today to vote on the withdrawal agreement. if it is not a yes today, they say there is that block of the 12th of april. but, you know, is that a movable no? who knows? we will be back to you later, when we have the result. vicki young is in the houses of parliament where she is following events, the prime minister is on herfeet she is following events, the prime minister is on her feet at the moment. her last plea, vicky. yes, it has worked up to a point with conservatives because as we heard from norman, a large number deciding at this point that it is too risky not to back her deal, they fear brexit might not happen. all eyes on labour, labour mps going in and out of the conservative whips office, the conservative mps trying to persuade them to come across. one labourmp persuade them to come across. one labour mp told me they are coming under huge pressure from their own leadership not to budge, to stick with jeremy corbyn, leadership not to budge, to stick withjeremy corbyn, but leadership not to budge, to stick with jeremy corbyn, but there leadership not to budge, to stick withjeremy corbyn, but there is a lot of talk about labour mps
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abstaining, not being around, not voting either way in this deal. theresa may has been on her feet. she was saying it is a matter of huge personal regret to her that we will not be leaving the eu this evening as planned and her question to mp5, she says, is people will look back on today and ask them why didn't you vote for brexit? let's listen to what she has to say. she is taking interventions and questions from labour mps, here is wes streeting. to place our trust in who will follow her, and looking at the likely candidates, i've got to say sincerely to her she may have sacrificed her career to put the country first but there are plenty of people who aim to follow her who have always put themselves first above the country. can ijust say to the honourable gentleman, the numbers in this house will not change. the numbers across this house will be the same. the desire of this house of the desire of this
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house to be able to have a greater role in the future will not change. i've made the commitment that i have in relation to the legislation in the withdrawal agreement bill, in relation to the amendment from the honourable member for stoke—on—trent central. in the next stage this will be important that there is a greater involvement of parliament to be able to ensure that as we move forward together... as we move forward together, we get that right result for our country. but this is about oui’ for our country. but this is about our country. it is about our national interest. as i say, everybody will have to... i will give way one last time to the honourable lady. i thank the prime minister for giving honourable lady. i thank the prime ministerfor giving way. honourable lady. i thank the prime minister for giving way. the honourable lady. i thank the prime ministerfor giving way. the prime ministerfor giving way. the prime minister said this is about the country. but, with respect, prime minister, that is not how it seems. brexit, withdrawal agreement, referendum, has always been about
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the conservative party... members call out "hear, hear" this house... this house, across all parties, voted for a referendum. members call out "hear, hear" this house across all parties voted to trigger article 50. sorry... i'm so to trigger article 50. sorry... i'm so sorry, to trigger article 50. sorry... i'm so sorry, iforget, of course, that the scottish national party always have a different view on this because they want to stay in the eu, they want to stay in the common agricultural policy, they want to stay in the common fisheries policy, no good for scottish fishermen and scottish farmers. i had said i would give way one last time but as i have just referenced the snp i will give way to the honourable gentleman. some way to build compromise, mr speaker, but why didn't she come
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forward to the scottish government and scottish national party come off and scottish national party come off a wide sweeping reforms and devolution for employment law, or welfare, for example, in order to give scotland the power it needs to protect itself from the measures in her deal that it doesn't like. instead, she stuck her head in the sand and that's why she has got nowhere with the scottish government 01’ nowhere with the scottish government or the scottish national party.|j say to the honourable gentleman, the government has given the scottish government extra powers and they're not using them. members call out "hear, hear" except... except, of course, the power to increase taxes in scotland more than in the united kingdom. so, i say to members this, if you want to deliver brexit, this is the moment. if you're passionate about making sure that the united kingdom leaves the european union, back this motion. if you care about our union and wanta motion. if you care about our union and want a deal that protects it, back the motion. if you want to on
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of the referendum but want parliament to shape our future relationship, back this motion. it's the right thing for our country, it's the right thing for our constituents, and with all my heart i commend this motion to the house. members call out "hear, hear" speaker: order! order! the question is is on the order paper. as many as are of the opinion, say "aye". to the contrary, "no". division! clear the contrary, "no". division! clear the lobby! so, there we have it, the vote about to start. john bercow, "clear the lobby," he says and the mps will file out one way or the other from the two sides of the chamber to represent their vote. these things ta ke represent their vote. these things take about 15 minutes. as we have said, it looks like it will be far closer than last time. that wouldn't
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be difficult, the government losing bya be difficult, the government losing by a huge amount, 149 votes last time round, but throughout today and yesterday we have seen several conservatives changing their minds, they have looked at what has been going on in parliament, you will remember some mps have been getting together, trying to decide on a different kind of brexit, holding their own votes, taking over what goes on here in the house of commons, and brexiteers in the conservative party are very concerned that they could achieve theiraim, it concerned that they could achieve their aim, it could concerned that they could achieve theiraim, it could be concerned that they could achieve their aim, it could be a concerned that they could achieve theiraim, it could be a much concerned that they could achieve their aim, it could be a much softer so their aim, it could be a much softer so called brexit, a much closer relationship between the eu than they would like, or may be no brexit at all and that has certainly focused the minds of many conservative mps who now say, after holding out for months, that they are prepared to get behind the prime minister's deal. the big question, of course, the democratic unionist party, they have made it clear they are not prepared to do so, they are still very concerned about what is in that withdrawal agreement. particularly, the so—called northern irish backstop, they fear it would trap the uk in there and we would
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end up with northern ireland being treated differently from the rest of the united kingdom. many of them actually would prefer a long delay to brexit rather than get caught up in that. so theresa may can't rely on the ten votes of the democratic unionist party. they have been talking to labour mps, mainly those in brexit constituencies, trying to pile the pressure on them and say to them, "look, it's time to vote for brexit. you say that you back the referendum result, now is the time to show that you do." there is some sign that labour mps, few of them, may come across and back the deal. all eyes will be on those who may be abstain and don't vote either way, that could also help the prime minister. talking to mps here they're feeling is she could get much closer but they could still be short of 30 or 40 votes, and if that happens that progress that she will have shown, some think it will encourage her to maybe even try again next week. but if it is not passed now it means that we don't get that automatic delay to brexit until the 22nd of may.
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hugely complicated. vicki, thank you very much. so, let's look at exactly what mps are going to be voting on right now. it's the withdrawal agreement — the divorce deal — the agreement that covers the practicalities of how the uk will leave the eu. it contains details of the £39 billion payment to the eu, the highly controversial irish backstop to keep the border open whatever happens and the guarantee of citizens‘ rights. the political declaration — the other part of the deal which sets out the future relationship — is not now being looked at today. what happens if the agreement is approved? what happens if the agreement is approved ? the uk's what happens if the agreement is approved? the uk's date to leave the european union is set to the 22nd of may. but the political declaration on future relations with the eu will still need to be agreed. and mps may find that impossible to do. so even if the prime minister wins today's vote — there is a chance britain could still exit
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the eu without a deal. and if the agreement doesn't get enough support in the commons and is rejected, what happens then? first, the uk's date to leave the eu reverts to being 12th april — in exactly two weeks today. therefore, it's likely that the government will go back to the eu and ask for another extension of article 50 — which means brexit would be delayed even further — possibly until the end of the year or beyond. and then what? will theresa may step down to break the deadlock, could there be another referendum or even a general election? katy balls, deputy political editor for the spectator and bronwen maddox, the director of the institute for government. thank you very much forjoining us here in westminster. katie, first, what do you think we will see in ten
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minutes' time and how close do you think it will be? the view in government is that this is unlikely it will pass. we have seen theresa may tried to make a pledge to bring over labour mps, saying an amendment they tried to add but were not able to do to try to give the commons greater control over the next stage of the process, she might have accepted, and that could move things. but the attention now is on the scale of the potential defeat. the view in government is that if it is close, between 30 and 40 votes or less, they could try to engineer another vote next week and give it one more chance. i think it's going to be hard for her to get it through. but an interesting thing is happening, a lot of hardline erg people are holding their noses and going for it, like dominic raab. that's not for the sake of brexit necessarily, but because she has promised she will go as soon as the withdrawal deal or something else is passed. they are itching to get
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going with the tory party leadership contest. you have the labour side, a couple of labour mps that are thinking quite seriously of supporting the prime minister on this. but i don't think it will be enough to get her over the line. mps i have spoken to who represent leave seats know there is the brexit issue but also the politics issue, and if they go over the line they are giving a gift or the tory party. the fear is, as jeremy giving a gift or the tory party. the fear is, asjeremy corbyn calls it, it's a blind brexit, a leap into the unknown and that is labour's concern. correct. because this is a slightly meaningless vote, it will not bind the hands of theresa may's successoi’, so you not bind the hands of theresa may's successor, so you could get a more hardline brexiteer conservative leader who would rip up everything and it wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on. still a complete unknown.
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how serious could today be? how serious could today be ?m how serious could today be? if it passed today, the date on which we leave the eu becomes may 22, and it would be a victory for theresa may, and there have not been many of those around. it would have small significance, but as you describe, the battle would be far from over. one of the reasons the erg brexiteers might want to back her todayis brexiteers might want to back her today is because they can see that they could even make their chance of a no—deal brexit easier because they could start attacking the actual legislation, the withdrawal bill thatis legislation, the withdrawal bill that is supposed to put this into uk law, and if they frustrated that, we would be out without a deal. law, and if they frustrated that, we would be out without a dealfi law, and if they frustrated that, we would be out without a deal. it is not straightforward in any sense at all. we will speak to you more in a moment. we can get the view now from outside westminster. in a moment we'll speak to our scotland editor sarah smith in glasgow and our wales correspondent sian lloyd in swansea. first to our ireland correspondent
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emma vardy in newry. as it looks, the dup are refusing to back theresa may's deal. absolutely. they were very clear last night and that message has remained the same today. the dup leader, arlene foster, writing a clear article in the belfast telegraph this morning saying that despite all the arguments, she says she is listening to people who voted to remain, who are frustrated, but despite all of this, the fundamental principle of the dup is belief in the union, and she can't believe for any —— and she can't vote for anything that she believes might undermine that. there have been a number of weeks of intense discussions between the dup and the government, looking at all different ways they can try to make this more palatable to the dup, whose votes are key in this. but all those options ended up kind of coming to nothing, if you like. the dup continues to leave the door open to something that could break the
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deadlock, but at the moment, we heard sammy wilson very angry in the commons earlier, and they aren't going to back the deal this afternoon. but the dup are calculating the numbers, looking at the number of tory ministers switching. they are aware that if they still continue to withhold their votes from theresa may's deal, it could mean a softer brexit, but they are not prepared to compromise on their fundamental principles, and northern ireland's position in the uk. let's go to glasgow and our scotland editor, sarah smith. what's the view in scotland? absolutely no agonising from the snp about how to vote today, they are implacably opposed to the withdrawal agreement and have spent the day urging labourmps not agreement and have spent the day urging labour mps not to back it either, saying they should not be responsible for ushering in a tory brexit. in fact, what the snp really wa nt to brexit. in fact, what the snp really want to do is stop brexit. nicola sturgeon says she thinks she sees a chance to do that because the
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process is now such a shambles that it could be possible to stop brexit and have another eu referendum. earlier this week the scottish parliament voted overwhelmingly to cancel brexit and revoke article 50, all parties backing it apart from scottish conservatives. that vote has no legal force, scottish conservatives. that vote has no legalforce, they scottish conservatives. that vote has no legal force, they can't stop brexit from there, but it shows how the force of feeling. here brexit is intimately intertwined with independence as well. the scottish government arguing scotland has been ignored in the process - next that came before parliament next week then they could give its support. but this version, they are totally opposed to. our wales correspondent,
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sian lloyd, is in swansea. and in wales they voted to leave. yes, they did. wales voted as a whole to leave, and they did here in swa nsea. whole to leave, and they did here in swansea. the sun is shining, this afternoon it might seem like1 million miles from westminster, just 250. i have been getting the views of some of the people out here having ice cream and coffee today. what do you make of everything that has been happening in westminster and this afternoon? there is a lot of party political manoeuvring going on andl of party political manoeuvring going on and i think politicians are putting their own agendas and careers over the interests of the people and country as a whole. what would you like to see happen?” would you like to see happen?” would like the opportunity for a second referendum. ithink politicians having three meaningful votes on the same deal but running scared of giving the people a second chance to speak is indicative of politics in this country right now. you were too young to vote in the referendum. you are a local, so what
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are your beliefs at the moment?” think what we really need is more time to try to sort out the chaos that the politicians who are in charge at the moment have caused. i think an extinction of article 50 or perhaps revoking it and starting again down the line is what we need, because we don't have the time to form some semblance of organisation or actually direct to the country in any way, at all, to be honest. it doesn't matter which way, we just need to do something. are you disappointed with what you have seen from politicians? absolutely. they don't have a clue what they are doing, what direction they are going in. i don't think anyone is following either their parties or their own beliefs particularly at their own beliefs particularly at the moment. it's absolute chaos, it's a mess. to correct you on one point, swansea west actually voted to remain, not leave. thank you so much. oscar, you told me earlier that you feel the nation of wales
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voted as a whole to leave. as we know the uk did. how do you feel now? i think it should be put to a second referendum. it has been three years and we have seen what chaos the brexit negotiations have caused so the brexit negotiations have caused so far, it has divided the nation, andl so far, it has divided the nation, and i believe it might be time to ask the people again. thank you so much. sian lloyd in swansea, thank you. we can go back to the house of commons. the mps filing in and the seats filling up. let's cross to our chief political correspondent vicki young, who's in the houses of parliament. the way this works, mps are physically walking through to make different lobbies to register their votes. labour mps can see who is voting with them and vice versa. the feeling from labour mps is that the government has lost this by anything between 40 and 60 votes. we don't
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know yet. we can speak to the vice chair of the conservative party, chris philp. what do you think is going on in there and what's your message to colleagues who have not supported the prime minister today? collea g u es supported the prime minister today? colleagues are currently voting. i voted a few minutes ago. i think we will have the result in the next ten minutes. i would say to colleagues that now is the time to deliver on the result of the referendum, the biggest ever exercising our democratic history, more than 33 million people voting. we told the public on both sides, and i voted to remain, but we told the public we would abide by the results of the referendum and now is the time to do that. i say to the small number of conservatives intending to vote against, and those labour mps, especially those representing overwhelmingly leave constituencies, to honour the result of the referendum and deliver for the british people. it's not been an easy process, the country and parliament are divided, but we have to respect the result and draw a line under the debate and look to the future, and today is the day to
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do that. the problem is theresa may couldn't come forward with a deal that got the backing of the house of commons. she didn't reach out to other parties. i'm sorry to say but i thinkjeremy corbyn's approach to the whole thing has not been terribly constructive. it's been clear in this process that his objective is to cause chaos in the hope of precipitating a general election that he can benefit from. similarly, the snp are hoping to cause chaos in the hope it precipitates a second independence referendum. it's time for the snp and labour front bench to stop playing those games and think of the national interest and respecting the result of the referendum. if they vote against the agreement today... it's the future trade relationship we are debating. we can go and get the result. the ayes to the right, 286. the
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knows back to the left, 344. —— the noes to the left. the ayes to the right, 286. the noes to the left, 344. so the noes might have it, the noes have it. unlock. we can hear from the have it, the noes have it. unlock. we can hearfrom the prime minister 110w. we can hearfrom the prime minister now. mr speaker, ithink it we can hearfrom the prime minister now. mr speaker, i think it should bea now. mr speaker, i think it should be a matter of profound regret to every member of this house that once again we have been unable to support leaving the european union in an orderly fashion. the implications of the house's decisions are grey. the legal default now is the united kingdom is due to leave the european union on april 12, in 14 days' time. that's not enough time to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal, and yet the house has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal,
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so not permit leaving without a deal, so it will have to agree an alternative way forward. the european union has been clear that any further extension will need to have a clear purpose and need to be agreed unanimously by the heads of the other 27 member states ahead of the other 27 member states ahead of the 12th of april. it is almost certain to involve the united kingdom being required to hold european parliamentary elections. on monday, this house will continue the process to see if there is a stable majority for a particular alternative version of our future relationship with the eu. of course, all the options will require the withdrawal agreement. mr speaker, i fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this house. order! this house has rejected no deal. it has rejected no brexit. on wednesday it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table, and today it
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has rejected approving the withdrawal agreement alone and continuing a process on the future. this government will continue to press the case for an orderly exit that the result of the referendum demands. point of order, mrjeremy corbyn. on a point of order, mr speaker, this is now the third time the prime minister's deal has been rejected. when it was defeated the first time the prime minister said it was clear the house did not support the deal. does she now finally accept that the house does not support the deal, because she seemed to indicate just now that she will return to this issue again? on monday, this house has the chance, andl monday, this house has the chance, and i say to all members, mr speaker, the responsibility to find a majority for a better deal for all the people of this country. mr speaker, the house has been clear, this deal now has to change. there has to be an alternative found. if the prime minister can't accept that, then she must go, not at an
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indeterminate date in the future, but now, so we can decide the future of this country through a general election. point of order, mr ian blackford. thank you, mr speaker. we should all be aware... speaker: the right honourable gentleman must be heard. we should all be aware of the responsibilities that we all have in this house, the seriousness of the situation that we are in. i would say respectfully to the prime minister she now has to accept that her deal has been defeated three times, and! her deal has been defeated three times, and i applaud the members of parliament on all sides that voted against the government's proposition. it is a bad deal. and we have to find a way out of the crisis that we are in. all of our
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constituents would expect that. we must give ourselves time, and i suggest to the prime minister, we 110w suggest to the prime minister, we now must look seriously at the option of revocation. we need to apply the handbrake to this process. and, quite simply, mr speaker, the prime minister has failed to take this dealforward. she prime minister has failed to take this deal forward. she doesn't have the confidence of the house. the prime minister has indicated her departure. she should now go and we should be having a general election. i will come to the honourable lady. point of order, sir vince cable. on monday, it is perfectly possible that the house may indicate a preference for one of the options such as a customs union or a confirmatory vote, which are, of course, compatible with the withdrawal agreement. if that is the case, is the prime minister then open to listening to the view of the house and considering how we might
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have a longer extension to explore them? speaker: i think have a longer extension to explore them? speaker: ithink the have a longer extension to explore them? speaker: i think the question was perhaps to some degree a rhetorical enquiry... that was vince cable, the leader of the liberal democrats, and we heard from ian blackford of the snp and jeremy corbyn calling for a general election. the prime minister defeated again by 58 votes, the third defeat, and she has said that the implications are grave. reaction from the solicitor general robert buckland. another defeat, you must be disappointed. what happens now? i'm concerned the house of commons had an opportunity to come together 110w had an opportunity to come together now and understand the realities of the situation we face, but u nfortu nately not the situation we face, but unfortunately not enough mps could find it in their heart, as the prime minister put it, to do that, and it 110w minister put it, to do that, and it now leaves the position very uncertain indeed. we cannot guarantee that we can get a further extension beyond the 12th of april, that's very much dependent on what the french and other countries think. we are now incomplete
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uncharted waters and we have motions next week on the letwin process as toa next week on the letwin process as to a potential way ahead. is that the way ahead ? to a potential way ahead. is that the way ahead? is it going to be down to backbench mps to take control of this process because the government hasn't been able to get its way? certainly, monday will be the day when the second part of that process takes place. motions are the input down on the order paper as we speak. i haven't seen them so i don't know what is on offer. but clearly, increasingly the house of commons is taking control of the process , commons is taking control of the process, and for those who want like me, to honour the result of the referendum, then we are losing opportunities here to actually get on with this. and, frankly, the prospect of no brexit is now becoming a very real one indeed. your colleagues, though, many of them in your own party, have not heard that. they are people who have campaigned for brexit for decades in some cases and have not felt they could support the deal. isn't the problem that the prime minister came forward with a deal that wasn't a cce pta ble forward with a deal that wasn't acceptable to the house of commons for various reasons, and she has
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just kept banging away without any chance of success? i think that's deeply unfair because the prime minister, of course, did go back and get further changes to aspects of the deal, which were put before parliament. and i think it became increasingly clear that as far as oui’ increasingly clear that as far as our negotiating partners were concerned, that part of the negotiation had finished. frankly, there was a lot of wishful thinking here about being able to go back time and time again, and not enough thinking about things from the eu's point of view. we are only one part ofa point of view. we are only one part of a negotiation here and it is deeply disappointing the house of commons hasn't been able to reach beyond that level, look at this as an international negotiation, and make a decision that i believe would have been truly in the national interest today, which was to vote for the motion. robert buckland, thank you very much indeed. another defeat by 58 votes, this time, some would say it is progress but as the prime minister said the consequences of this are very grave.
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thank you, vicki, thousands of protesters here come "out means out" they are chanting, "shame on you". a lot of anger in westminster this afternoon. the mood has changed very quickly indeed. live now to brussels and our europe editor, katya adler. the decision today, mps have not backed the prime minister's deal once again. it means that the power seems to be adding more and more towards the european union. —— ebbing. not really. this comes as a great surprise today. there was an airof great surprise today. there was an air of resignation among brussels and other european capitals about the vote. there were no great expectations that the withdrawal agreement would be approved by mps
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—— comes as no great surprise. we have already heard from donald tusk, representative of all of the 27 eu leaders in brussels and he said they will meet here on the 10th of april, and they will then debate whatever the prime minister says will be the direction that the uk then takes. now that this withdrawal agreement has been rejected today of the uk basically has two choices. it can leave the eu without a deal by the 12th of april, or it can ask for a longer delay to brexit. that, insists the eu, would mean the uk having to take part in european parliamentary elections in may. we have also heard from the european commissionjust now have also heard from the european commission just now to say that today's vote makes a no—deal brexit likely, it said. it said the eu has tried to prepare itself as much as it can for that, and also from the european commission there came a messagejust european commission there came a message just now to those mps in parliament who believe you can have
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a no—deal brexit and still pay the eu for the transition period, that kind of standstill period were the uk has left the eu but remains a member of the customs union and the single market until the trade deal is done. not possible, has said the eu all along, and that has just been underlined by the european commission. now, no deal means no deal. but it is still very much going to be in the hands of the 27 other eu leaders whether or not we get this extension, isn't it? if that's indeed what they ask for. to that's indeed what they ask for. to that extent, yes, absolutely. but, sophie, it is very unlikely the eu will say no to a longer extension. if the uk has some kind of plan for that extension. could there be a general election? could there be a second referendum ? general election? could there be a second referendum? could there be an indicative vote planned for monday some clear direction that mps show what they would like in future relations between the eu and the uk
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after brexit that might take them somehow down a different path? so, if the prime minister can come up with concrete steps, the eu is very unlikely to say no to a longer extension, even though, i have to say, by this stage, it is with a heavy heart. the eu wants to get on with this process and that's why just before the vote you had michel barnier, the eu's chief negotiator saying he wanted to move to the next stage. brexit, he said, is negative for everybody, it is a living process , for everybody, it is a living process, it is a good buy between good friends, the eu and the uk, so if there is to be a brexit it is in everybody‘s interests to move on to the positive, the forging of new relations on the other side, new trade relations, partnership and security matters and things like that, so he was still trying to sound optimistic, if you'd like, or strike a positive tone today. but make no mistake, even though they didn't believe this withdrawal agreement would be approved by parliament today, it is with great disappointment received across europe. katya adler, our europe
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editor in brussels, thank you. let's go back to our guests here. i'm joined by the former labour adviser, ayesha hazarika, katy balls, deputy political editor for the spectator, and bronwen maddox, the director of the institute for government. bronwen, first of all, it is a grave moment. yes, it is, you can hear the anger around about it. for the brexiteers who wanted the certainty ofan brexiteers who wanted the certainty of an exit, or the certain exit on may the 22nd is not there, and in theory we are heading for exit without a deal on april the 12th. but as the prime minister immediately in her remarks, it would be preferable to go to the eu to ask for a long extension, which will almost certainly mean, if they wanted, taking part in european parliamentary elections and then, who knows how long the process might go on? so, all eyes on monday, on the indicative votes, and whether parliament can reach some form of consensus. the concern amongst brexiteers is that they might, but the consensus is going to be around
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something like a permanent customs union, or potentially, but less likely, a second referendum. ithink that was really white we saw some heavyweight brexiteers, dominic raab and so forth, changing their vote today because they were worried what would happen if the commons had another round of votes. looking at the result, which was worse than the government expected. there was lots of talk early about how it might keep getting much tighter with people like dominic raab changing their minds. i had figures like 30-40, their minds. i had figures like 30—40, they could bounce back from. looking at the result, the chance of a general election has gone up because if theresa may is pushed towards a softer brexit, half of her party would rather on of the manifesto commitments and take a chance on the polls than commit to something like a permanent customs union, which means no free trade. were you surprised by the result?” was surprised it was that big, i thought it might be a slightly tighter margin. as you can see from the scene is behind us, remember la st the scene is behind us, remember last saturday there were a large
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numberof last saturday there were a large number of people. parliament is split, the country is split. it seems one of the great problems is it is very hard to get consensus around even a softer brexit. these people behind us want a kind of very ha rd people behind us want a kind of very hard brexit. the people who marched wa nt hard brexit. the people who marched want to revoke article 50. and i sort of think the only way to unblock this is another democratic intervention. whether it is a second referendum, but i think the chances ofa referendum, but i think the chances of a general election just shot referendum, but i think the chances of a general electionjust shot up as well. remember, we have local elections, we have european elections, we have european elections, there is every possibility they could throw in a general election on that date as well. at this moment i would say we are ina well. at this moment i would say we are in a full— blown constitutional and political crisis and anything could happen. anything could happen. thank you all. back to the house of commons and vicki young. mps digesting this result, a third defeat for theresa may by 58 votes at this time around. she talked about the implications being very
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grave. i'm joined by about the implications being very grave. i'mjoined by anna about the implications being very grave. i'm joined by anna soubry, who left the conservative party and joined the independent group, and steve bright, who left as health minister recently. what do you think this means happens next? we are going to have the european elections and this new party we formed will be standing in those elections. i think the house has spoken again, this must be the end of her deal in this place. and i think if my... my advice to her, and i've talked to other ministers about it, is it has been negotiated, this deal, i don't like it. but i accept it is a deliverable form of brexit. let's get it back to the british people, let them have the right to vote in the same way and change their minds as we saw people like borisjohnson, jacob rees—mogg and many other people today cast their vote differently. they changed their minds. the british people are also entitled to change their minds and have the final say, that confirm a tree vote, now we know what brexit looks like. and three years on
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almost. steve wright, what do you think should happen? you resign from yourjob think should happen? you resign from your job because he think should happen? you resign from yourjob because he wanted to stop no deal. what do you think happens now? i wanted to stop no deal but i also wanted to back that up with more thanjust also wanted to back that up with more than just wishing also wanted to back that up with more thanjust wishing it also wanted to back that up with more than just wishing it away, you cannot wish it away, you have to have a deal under prime minister's deal was a good one but i faced some time ago that was not going to fly andl time ago that was not going to fly and i have said in the house today i didn't think it would get through and sadly it hasn't. i resigned because we needed a process, which should have happened two years ago. the indicative votes discussion on wednesday this week was really great, it felt like parliament was a lie. that was people voting on a series of different options, backbench mps coming up with those ideas. and also discussing those options. it should be a free vote across the house, otherwise they are only indicative of how good the whipping is. iwas only indicative of how good the whipping is. i was struck by what the prime minister said on the end on the point of order, she said, i feel we are reaching the limits of the process in this house. i've said to constituents now for a long time
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that the house of commons has got to solve this venn diagram that the public have given us out of brexit, but if it can't, and it is now coming to the endgame everything is back on the table. and everything is back on the table. and everything is back on the table. and everything is back on the table. what does that mean for you? revoke, stop brexit altogether? everything including revoke, second referendum and a general election. all the options are on the table. the prime minister said time and again that there are consequences to votes in there, the consequent second time is the political and constitutional crisis we are in and there will be a consequence to today's vote and that will immediately play out on monday. she should have reached out across the house two years ago. she didn't do that. it was a big mistake. she could have been a great prime minister if she had done it. but now she has a chance through the letwin indicative votes process. do you really let backbench mps dictate government policy? yes will stop absolutely, that's what we come here to do. to represent our
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constituents, not the narrow party view. i would like to take the withdrawal agreement and put it of a house with that confirm a tree vote, that referendum on her deal with remain on the ballot paper. are you up remain on the ballot paper. are you up for that? not yet because the parliamentary process is still running. i think you might be. she should have reached across the house before, 0k, we are where we are. we are reaching across the house now but parliament has forced that. the executive have got to listen to that, it is no good closing the ears. that's right. if parliament can come up ears. that's right. if parliament can come up with something that is a consensus it would be crazy to walk away with no deal anyway. steve brine and anna soubry, thank you. either a referendum on the deal or backbench mps on monday coming up with an option that could then be taken on by the government. vicki, thank you. businesses have for months been asking for clarity amid the political uncertainty. our business editor, simon jack is here. also with me is our assistant political editor, norman smith.
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we saw businesses here just yesterday saying to mp5, stop chasing rainbows and give us clarity and certainty and tell us what's happening is not quite the opposite today. they will be bitterly disappointed but not 100% surprised. they have watch the process with anxiety, frustration, some anger. some of the responses we are getting just now, there is almost a weary despair to the tone to this. it's gone on forfar too despair to the tone to this. it's gone on for far too long, businesses are sick and tired and they need certainty. the aerospace industry saying that we need to pause now and reset our approach to the situation. we can also look at the value of the pound, the twitchy list indicator, and it had a fairly substantial fall, not massive. but ever since parliament set its guns and heart against no deal, that's been supporting the pound. clearly with this deal not being supported today, you can't take no deal completely
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off the table. we could be in for a long delay. businesses hate the idea of no deal and they are not massive fa ns of no deal and they are not massive fans of a delay either, saying it perpetuates the fog of uncertainty, squashing investment. who knows, if there is a delay dotted at do i build a new factory and invest? do i continue to stockpile? it's stalling economic growth and it harms the productive capacity of the economy in the long term because people are not buying new kit, investing in training and that kind of stuff. norman smith, let's try to rule a few things out. is that deal done now? i suspect it is, yes. theresa may has pretty much run out of road with the deal. she reduced the numberof mps against with the deal. she reduced the number of mps against her to 58, but given where we are, she needed to get it down to 20 or even below, so she is a way off. despite that, we saw a whole range of brexiteers
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clambering aboard, there is still clearly a ha rd clambering aboard, there is still clearly a hard knot of about 40 who will not back the deal come what may, no matter how many goes mrs may has at it. likewise, the dup will not come on board. i can't see how she can make any inroads. labour mps who are sympathetic will not cross if they think it has no chance of passing, they will not sacrifice their careers or get into trouble in their careers or get into trouble in their constituencies, so i think this is the high watermark of support mrs may can get, so she is ina support mrs may can get, so she is in a pretty difficult place. after the vote she said, the default of april the 12th is in place with no deal. i personally don't think she would countenance that. i know she says it, but i don't believe she would do that. and parliament is against it and has voted against it. the other option is she said she will come back with the deal but i don't think she will do that. i think we will see a concerted move by parliament on monday to take a grip of this to avoid falling out on april 12. i think they will come up
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with an alternative, which might well be a customs union subject to a confirmatory referendum. that decision time for mrs may, does she say, this breach is my red lines, we will not do it. i suspect that will be her natural inclination. if she does that, the question is to someone does that, the question is to someone else in the cabinet, do they step in and try to do it. does she try to prompt a general election? we are into all sorts of extraordinary scenarios but i think her deal is now basically dead, almost certainly, and parliament will move to grip the situation and the question is, how does she respond? we can go back into parliament with vicki young. tory mps are here. the conservative party split over theresa may's deal. a huge defeat last time, it's been defeated again and we think around 34 conservative mps who failed to back her, i think a few of them would have been on
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what's known as the remains side of the argument. we are hearing 28 from the argument. we are hearing 28 from the european research group, a group of pro—brexit mps, and one of them is with me now, steve baker. theresa may's deal has been defeated again. many people are saying now that this means either a very long delay to brexit, may be parliament taking over the process and bringing in what is called a softer brexit. is that what you have done today? we will have to see. as late as last night i was still wrestling with whether i should vote for it in case we lost brexit. jacob rees—mogg has made the case articulately and cogently but in the end i decided i had to stick with the dup on the issue of the union and i couldn't put my name to the backstop in the end, soi put my name to the backstop in the end, so i voted against it. this is now all about choices. what we would prefer to do is correct the clause in the backstop and find a way to support it. some of those listening to you would say you and your collea g u es to you would say you and your colleagues have campaigned for
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brexit for decades, for your entire political lives and careers, and today, given the chance for the uk today, given the chance for the uk to leave very soon, you have thrown it away. if only that thesis were true. if it were then we would have voted for the deal and we would be leaving successfully. the problem is the deal is rotten, stinks, triple locking us into the institutions of the eu, particularly if the political declaration was carried through, which is why overwhelmingly eurosceptic mps are voting against it. when remain colleagues are telling you to vote for it, you have to be sceptical. people here today are congratulating me, thanking me, normal voters who thanked me for voting down the deal because they know it stinks. you told me about the pressure of having to make this decision and weighing up the possibility of no brexit at all. how ha rd possibility of no brexit at all. how hard has it been? it's been torture for everyone. it's awful. we have been deliberately placed in a bind, announced well in advance, number
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ten said they would tell us as many times as possible to try to through. they know what they are doing, putting pressure on us, holding the vote today, but in the in the end the substance of the deal is rotten so we the substance of the deal is rotten so we have voted it down again. what happens now? theresa may talking about grave implications, suggesting about grave implications, suggesting a long delay, fighting european elections. is it likely that on monday parliament will take over the process ? monday parliament will take over the process? parliament needs to get a grip. there are members on the opposition benches saying they support brexit but not this deal and not no deal. they need to make up their mind. i would prefer a deal. i have bent over backwards with the kit morehouse compromise and the graham brady amendment, but i would ta ke graham brady amendment, but i would take a no deal exit if we had to. do you think that's likely? parliament ought to get a grip and vote for it, but parliament at the moment is taking it off the table. voters need to write to their mps and tell them
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to write to their mps and tell them to uphold democracy. steve baker, thank you. a very clear sign there of the difficulty that coming to their decision has been for very many mps in the house of commons today. well, as you can hear it's very noisy here — plenty of protesters out here this afternoon. leave demonstrators have gathered in parliament square in westminster. there are three different protests all converging on westminster this afternoon. our correspondent sarah walton is there. there are thousands of people gathered here now. the numbers have swelled quite significantly in the last half an hour or so. we have people meeting in different parts of central london and making their way here to parliament square. in this direction, a large stage has been set up, a rally organised by ukip. a few minutes ago, tommy robinson, former leader of the english defence league, was speaking to crowds gathered there. in this direction,
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another large stage being set up, this is the leave means leave campaign, and we believe nigel farage will be speaking to the crowds in this direction. there are some pro—remain campaign groups demonstrating in london today, but at the moment here, the majority are pro—brexit supporters, some of whom have been telling me they were a lwa ys have been telling me they were always planning to come to london today, the 29th of march, but for a celebration, celebrating the day the uk left the eu. we know that will not happen today and after two years of negotiations the brexit process is no clearer, people saying they have come here from all across the country and they are angry and frustrated that the government has not kept its brexit process. more and more people are arriving all the time. some of the rally groups say they plan on being here until well into the evening, so it will be a busy afternoon in central london. sarah walton in parliament square. thank you. the phrase that keeps
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being used, a grave situation. the prime minister has lost her latest vote on the brexit deal, this time by 58 votes, not as many as last time but it was still not enough. nobody knows what will happen next. so many ifs and buts, a long delay, a general election, another referendum, a no—deal brexit. who knows what could be around the corner. this was the day we were supposed to leave the european union, march 29, that's not going to happen now, but will it ever happen? the bbc‘s reality check correspondent chris morris is here. in terms of the law, april 12 is now the date. we will leave automatically without a deal on april 12 unless something happens between now and then which can be formally proposed by the uk and the eu, and we know the european council
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president donald tusk has called a european summit on april ten. you will probably need a pretty clear idea a day or two before that because documents have to be prepared, different capitals have to be briefed and give their opinion back. so pretty much by april the 8th, monday of the week after next, the uk will have to give the eu are very clear idea of what it wants to do. which means that next week, attention turns to whatever mps decide in those indicative of votes. they will have to not only persuade the prime minister to take something new to brussels, if she chooses to do that, the prime minister will then have to persuade 27 other governments that it's worth their while to agree to it. norman, does this mean we will now certainly have to fight european elections? inaudible three scenarios, general election, no deal, or a long delay.” three scenarios, general election, no deal, or a long delay. i think a long delay is the likely scenario. i
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mean one year, two years possibly. fashion a different sort of brexit, parliament could come up with some sort of customs union that might be subject to another referendum, to put it in place and carry the legislation through parliament. it could take at least a year because no deal, frankly parliament will not allow no deal to happen. the tory party won't let it happen, the cabinet will not let it happen and i suspect privately mrs may does not wa nt suspect privately mrs may does not want it to happen for stop a general election is not in mrs may's gift. secondly, i don't think the tory party would want her to lead them into a general election. chris, in summing up, this was the day we were supposed to leave the eu. extraordinary circumstances, an extraordinary situation we find ourselves in. we have leading up to this day for the last two years, march 29, written into everyone's brain that we would leave today. that's not going to happen now,
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which is why we have angry demonstrators here. we also know the country and parliament have been deeply divided by the referendum and remain so and this parliament hasn't found a way through that. it's a long road ahead. it is, norman was speaking about the need for a long extension and i think on the european side as well, they are not interested in month by month by month. they have european elections coming up and have to appoint a new president of the european commission. there is a lot of change coming up in europe and they don't wa nt to coming up in europe and they don't want to think about brexit for the next six months at least. chris morris and norman smith, thank you. she gambled — and she lost. on the very day that the prime minister promised she would deliver brexit for the british people, she has failed to get enough mps to back her deal. what that means is that brexit day is nowjust 14 days away — april 12th. we will be leaving the eu without a deal, unless the prime minister goes to brussels and asks for another extension. which is looking likely. and so the chaos, the confusion, the uncertainty, the sense
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of betrayal that many are feeling, continues. it's definitely not over yet. coverage continues on the bbc news channel. goodbye. good afternoon from westminster where in the last half hour, theresa may's brexit plan has suffered a third defeat. in dramatic scenes in the house of commons, mps rejected her eu withdrawal agreement by 344 votes to 286. 34 conservative mps voted against the deal. the prime minister said the implications of the vote are ‘grave' and the legal default was that the uk would leave on the 12th of april. and in fiery exchanges, the labour leaderjeremy corbyn said it was time for theresa may to go,
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and to call a general election. the european council president donald tusk has already reacted to the rejection of the agreement, he's called a meeting of the european council on the 10th of april to consider a way forward. currency markets also reacted, with sterling falling slightly. well, this is the moment the result was announced a short while ago. the ayes to the right, 286. the noes to the left, 344. the ayes to the right, 286. they nose to the left, 344. so, the noes have it, the noes have it. unlock. the prime minister spoke immediately after the result, saying the government would continue to press for an orderly brexit — while the opposition labour leader jeremy corbyn repeated his calls

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