A fortnight ago, Theresa May claimed to have received a "substantial and sustainable" mandate to renegotiate her deal with Brussels after she – perhaps unusually – won a vote in the Commons on a government-backed plan. On Valentine's Day, however, the fragile sense of Tory unity was once more shattered as a bloc of Conservative Brexiteers – the European Research Group – decided to abstain, delivering a humiliating defeat for the prime minister in the House of Commons. Her motion seeking to reiterate the chamber's support for the approach to leaving the EU expressed on 29 January was resoundingly rejected by 45 votes – 303 to 258. Join Independent Minds For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month Start your free trial Get the best of The Independent With an Independent Minds subscription for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month Start your free trial Get … [Read more...] about How has the EU reacted to Theresa May’s latest Brexit defeat in the Commons?
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As tempers flared after the ministers' chaotic Brexit vote retreat, plain-speaking Tory MP Mark Francois declared to parliament: "The government have gone away and hidden in the toilets." There was worse.Earlier, during Theresa May's three-hour grilling after her statement defending postponing the crunch vote, the Labour MP Rupa Huq accused the Prime Minister of "premature parliamentary ejaculation".As one MP muttered "wow, that's strong!", even that insult failed to fluster the always-unflappable vicar's daughter prime minister, who replied: "If she looks carefully, she will see I am not capable of a parliamentary ejaculation."Then towards the end of a dramatic day in the Commons, a firebrand young Labour MP, 32-year-old Lloyd Russell-Moyle, grabbed the Commons' ceremonial mace and was promptly ejected from the chamber for the rest of the sitting.Mind you, grabbing the mace didn't do the careers of Michael Heseltine - who famously swung it around his head in 1976 - and John McDonnell … [Read more...] about Even Theresa May’s latest Brexit retreat may not save her now
Theresa May has given the broadest hint yet that Britain could be heading for a no-deal Brexit. Reading a statement in Downing Street this afternoon, the Prime Minister admitted the UK and the EU were "a long way apart" on two key issues. Speaking 24 hours after EU leaders rejected her Chequers proposals at a summit in Salztburg, she said the EU was offering two options on their future economic relationship with the UK - options she could not agree with. She said one, which includes abiding by EU rules on immigration and no trade deals with other countries, would "make a mockery" of the referendum result. Pledging to do everything to prevent a hard border with the Irish Republic, a Mrs May said a second option with Northern Ireland remaining in the customs union under a free trade agreement was "something I will never agree to". She said both options would be "a bad deal" and went on: "I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal. "We now need to hear from the EU what the real … [Read more...] about Theresa May’s latest statement as UK heads for a no-deal Brexit
THERESA May last night insisted that a No Deal Brexit would "not be the end of the world" as she dismissed Chancellor Philip Hammond's doomsday warnings as "a work in progress." Speaking as she arrived in South Africa this morning for a trade visit, the Prime Minister said it was important to let Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab unveil the Government's contingency plans for crashing out of the EU without a trade deal in place. Her words came after the Chancellor was accused of attempting to derail the planning through scaremongering. Last Wednesday Mr Hammond sparked uproar from fellow ministers and Tory MPs after publishing a doom-laden warning that Britain would face an £80 billion hike in borrowing in a No Deal scenario on the same day Mr Raab set out the first tranche of Whitehall emergency plans. The Chancellor rehashed highly contentious Treasury analysis of what would happen if talks with Brussels collapsed and Britain moved to trading with our nearest neighbours on tariff … [Read more...] about Theresa May insists no-deal Brexit would ‘not be the end of the world’
A Tory Brexit minister was listed as a 'supporter' of a hardline eurosceptic group, who branded Theresa May's Chequers deal a 'betrayal', the Mirror can reveal. Suella Braverman is Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) - and as a minister is expected to fully support government policy. But Leave Means Leave, in a statement published yesterday, explicitly vowed to "stop the Prime Minister’s disastrous Chequers proposal going ahead." The group, co-chaired by Brexiteers Richard Tice and John Longworth, wrote the statement to welcome their new vice-chair, Nigel Farage, to the group. Ms Braverman is listed, alongside a number of other Tory MPs, as a 'supporter' of the group, on its website. A DExEU spokesperson insisted Ms Braverman does support government policy, and said her name would be removed from the Leave Means Leave website. They said: "The Minister has been clear in her full commitment to the Government's Brexit plans, including … [Read more...] about Tory Brexit minister linked to group who branded Theresa May’s deal ‘disastrous’