Setbacks for May as MPs debate Brexit before historic vote

EU Withdrawal Agreement what could happen

MPs backed an amendment demanding the government return within three sitting days with a new plan if it is defeated in next week's crunch vote on the prime minister's Brexit deal.

"Brexit paralysis potentially leading to no Brexit is something I think would be incredibly damaging for the long-term future of this country".

He also took a swipe at Commons Speaker John Bercow, who he said was "willing to frustrate the government at every opportunity".

As MPs prepared to embark on the second day of the resumed debate on Mrs May's Brexit deal, Mr Clark said he would support a series of "indicative votes" to establish what sort of agreement could command a majority in the House.

Mr Bercow said he was acting in the interests of MPs and had made an "honest judgement".

But he remained optimistic about Prime Minister Theresa May getting her withdrawal agreement through parliament, touting two MPs who had changed their mind and will now support it.

His support came after Business Secretary Greg Clark had urged MPs across Parliament to work together to prevent the "disaster" of leaving the European Union without a deal.

Speaking on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, he also said any attempt by politicians to frustrate Brexit would damage the UK's global reputation.

He said: "It's evident that there are a range of views inside the Labour Party about what our stance should be and there are people, like Ian Murray, who are absolutely clear that we should be arguing and that we should be standing on a platform which is to reverse the decision of the referendum".

Earlier, in Prime Minister's Questions, Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to accept the will of the House as expressed in Tuesday's vote and rule out a no-deal Brexit.

"I realize there are a few of my colleagues who believe that if the government's deal is rejected we should simply do nothing and leave the European Union on March 29 with no deal at all and with all, to my mind, the calamitous consequences that would follow on from it", Grieve told local media after the vote.

Trump summit with Kim Jong-un 'IMMINENT'
The South Korean government believes a second North Korea-U.S. summit will happen at some point in the near future. Details of his visit weren't released, but Yonhap said Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Times leads on Mrs May's Brexit plans, which the paper says are in "tatters" after Conservative remainers discussed an alternative with their Labour colleagues.

The foreign secretary said that unless MPs delivered on the referendum result it would be a "breach of trust" with the electorate and bad for the country's reputation overseas.

He acknowledged that MPs opposed to Brexit were flexing their muscles, telling Today: "After this week the idea that Parliament is going to do nothing at all is highly unlikely".

Lawmakers approved a motion saying that if Parliament rejects May's divorce deal, the government must come up with a "Plan B" within three working days.

"The big risk and what people worry about is that we don't actually deliver what people voted for", he announced on Friday.

"I just invite you to reflect on the conclusion that many of us will have inevitably have come to".

"I don't like the prospect of a no deal". The first defeat limits the government's financial powers in the event of a no-deal departure.

The crucial vote on the withdrawal agreement is due to be held on Tuesday, but opposition to May's agreement continues from pro and anti-Brexit elements, for different reasons.

The amendment passed through the House of Commons 308-297 and was submitted by Dominic Grieve, the Tory MP and former attorney general.

Mrs May also called the general secretaries of Unite and the GMB - Len McCluskey and Tim Roache - on Thursday, for what her spokesman described as "constructive" calls.

Mr Abe told a joint press conference with Mrs May in Downing Street that "the world is watching the United Kingdom as it exits the European Union".

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