Focus will be on the the cross-party amendment by Sir Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn and signed by 109 MPs from all political parties, was seen as the most significant as it would allow Parliament to seize control of the agenda in the Commons on Wednesday. This would enable MPs to take part in a series of indicative votes to establish whether there is a majority for a number of possible Brexit outcomes. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also tabled an amendment calling on the Government to provide Parliamentary time to also debate a range of Brexit options, including Labour’s own plan, the Common Market 2.0 proposals, a customs union and a second referendum.
The third amendment has been put forward by Labour former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett, requiring Parliament to be given an opportunity in the week before a mooted no deal Brexit to vote on whether the Government should go ahead and take the UK out of the European Union or seek a further extension to negotiations.
Earlier, the Prime Minister conceded there isn’t yet enough support for her Brexit deal for her to bring it back before Parliament in a third meaningful vote.
She has previously suffered two crushing defeats in the Commons on this – first by 232 votes in January and then by a majority of 149 earlier this month.
During a fiery session this afternoon, Mrs May said: “I have had to conclude that as things stand, there is still not sufficient support in the House to bring back the deal for a third meaningful vote.
Theresa May is fighting for her political life ahead of crunch Brexit votes on amendments
“I continue to have discussions with colleagues across the House to build support, so that we can bring the vote forward this week, and guarantee Brexit.”
The Prime Minister had also made clear the Government would oppose the indicative votes plan and would not regard the outcome of any votes as binding.
She added ministers would provide their own mechanism for indicative votes to take place, but warned she was sceptical of the process producing a useful outcome and would not promise to implement the results.
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11.40pm update: Government responds to Commons defeat
The Government has released a statement in response to its Parliamentary defeat, forcing a series of Brexit indicative votes.
It said: “It is disappointing to see this amendment pass, as the Government made a clear commitment to provide a process to find a majority in Parliament for a way forward this week.
“This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for our future.
“While it is now up to Parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the Government will continue to call for realism – any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU. Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take, and if they’d require a longer extension which would mean holding European Parliamentary elections.”
11.25pm update: Indicative votes to be held on Wednesday
Parliament will hold a series of indicative votes on Wednesday on different Brexit options. The votes are non-binding, and could theoretically be ignored by the Prime Minister.
The options the House of Commons will vote on include a softer EU exit, cancelling Breixt, holding another EU membership referendum or leaving the EU without a deal.
Based on previous votes MPs are extremely unlikely to vote for a no-deal exit.
Parliament has voted to hold a series of “indicative votes” on different Brexit options
11.18pm update: Government defeats second ‘Beckett’ amendment
Parliament has rejected an amendment, by three votes, that would have forced it to hold a vote on stopping a no deal Brexit if the UK came within one week of one.
The amendment was tabled by Labour backbencher Margaret Beckett.
11.15pm update: John Bercow apologises for insulting Tory whip
Commons Speaker John Bercow has apologised for insulting Conservative whip Greg Hands, who he earlier said “wasn’t a very good whip”.
Addressing the House he said: “I have no difficulty apologising to the honourable gentleman’.
Mr Bercow, who last week ruled against a third deal on the Brexit deal unless meaningful changes are made, has a tense relationship with the Government.
11.10pm update: Three Ministers resigned to vote against Government
Three Ministers resigned from Government to back the successful amendment to force a series of Brexit “indicative votes”.
In addition to Richard Harrington, mentioned below, Foreign Office Alistair Burt and Health Minister Steve Brine submitted their resignations.
Brexit backing Conservative backbencher Sir Bill Cash described the night’s events as a “constitutional revolution”.
James Bickerton takes over live reporting from Paul Withers
10.44pm update: Government defeat to Letwin amendement ‘humiliating’ – Starmer
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “Another humiliating defeat for a Prime Minister who has lost complete control of her party, her Cabinet and of the Brexit process.
“Parliament has fought back – and now has the chance to decide what happens next.”
10.30pm update: 30 Tory MPs vote against Government
Thirty of Theresa May’s own Tory MPs voted against the Government this evening, according to the division list.
They were: Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), Richard Benyon (Newbury), Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford), Steve Brine (Winchester), Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire), Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe), Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe), Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), George Freeman (Mid Norfolk), Damian Green (Ashford), Justine Greening (Putney), Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield), Sam Gyimah (East Surrey), Richard Harrington (Watford), Joseph Johnson (Orpington), Phillip Lee (Bracknell), Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford), Oliver Letwin (West Dorset), Paul Masterton (East Renfrewshire), Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield), Nicky Morgan (Loughborough), Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst), Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth), Mark Pawsey (Rugby), Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury), Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), Caroline Spelman (Meriden), John Stevenson (Carlisle), Edward Vaizey (Wantage).
10.25pm update: MPs vote against amendment attempting to guarantee no-deal vote
MPs have narrowly rejected a backbench amendment to allow the Commons to have a vote if the UK is seven days away from leaving the EU without a deal by 314 votes to 311, majority three.
10.15pm update: Government defeated over key amendment
MPs have approved a cross-party Brexit amendment which allows Parliament to seize control of the Commons agenda to hold a series of indicative votes by 329 votes to 302, a majority of 27 .
10.05pm update: Minister resignation puts vote on knife edge
Business minster Richard Harrington has resigned and is now expected to back the amendment.
With the last vote coming down to a majority of just two, this could prove crucial.
9.55pm update: MPs head to voting chambers on Letwin amendment
MPs have begun voting on the Letwin amendment, slightly ahead of schedule.
A result can be expected in the next 15 minutes or so.
Jeremy Corbyn said Theresa May’s deal is now ‘dead’
Ireland has gone into panic mode after the EU warned border checks would begin “immediately” in the event of a no deal Brexit.
A European Commission official told reporters in Dublin “significant disruption” would be triggered across the Republic s a result of no deal preparations, which the bloc announced had been completed today. The official said:
“This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses.
“The EU will be required to immediately apply its rules and tariffs at its borders with the UK.
“This includes checks and controls for customs, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and verification of compliance with EU norms.
“Despite the considerable preparations of the Member States’ customs authorities, these controls could cause significant delays at the border.
“We’re working very closely with Irish authorities to try and perform controls away from border if at all possible.”
9.10pm update: ERG vows to vote against ALL amendments
The European Research Group (ERG), chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg, will vote against all the amendments being put before MPs this evening, according to Sky News.
The Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party said it would vote for the Government motion on its next steps, as long as nothing in it changes.
8.50pm update: Brexit a ‘historic mistake of very great proportions’ – Grieve
Referring to the defeat of Mrs May’s deal, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve said: “That does to my mind call into question whether in fact a fundamental error has been made and that that the entire process has inherent flaws in it.
“The difficulty that then arises is that one of the tendencies that has crept in throughout the whole of this debate ever since the referendum result came out has been a tendency to close down debate on the basis that it is not proper to pursue it because the referendum result must act as a diktat which prevents such debate taking place.”
He added: “You cannot have a working democracy where you close down debate.
“To argue that the referendum result imposes a permanency which cannot be challenged is, in my judgment, entirely wrong and when I look at the mess into which we’ve got ourselves, it does appear to me to be at least in part the consequence of pushing this argument and thereby preventing democratic process working.”
Theresa May said she was ‘sceptical about the process of such indicative votes’
8.30pm update: MPs seizing control will offer ‘sensible’ Brexit plan as opposed to ‘unicorn – Letwin
Sir Oliver said of his amendment: “If we go through the process… one of the things we will all have to do is to seek compromise.
“If we all vote for that which is our first preference, I think we almost know that we will never get to a majority solution.
“I don’t believe there is a majority in favour of the first preferences of any person in this House.”
Sir Oliver added he believed the first vote should let Ps disclose “where the votes lie, on a clear vanilla basis” with all votes cast on a slip in the voting lobbies at the end of the debate, and then “zero in on something which could be a compromise” that could secure a majority in the following days.
He added: “It is also the case we will have to attend to the question, which is what will the Government do if the House reaches a majority view, not for some unicorn, not for some ludicrous proposition which utterly contradicts common sense, but for a sensible way forward.
“How do we persuade at that stage the Government to allow that majority view to be implemented – that will be a major issue.”
7.50pm update: Tory peer in stinging attack against PM
A former Tory Brexit minister has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May, saying to describe her as Prime Minister gives her a level of authority she clearly does not have.
Lord Bridges of Headley said Mrs May is “in office not in power” and argued there was no Government to “speak of”, just “a collection of individuals grouped into factions”.
He also attacked the approach taken to Brexit talks, claiming relations with Brussels had “been poisoning the well of Conservative Party politics for decades”.
7.30pm update: Talking about another meaningful vote is ‘absurd’, says Shadow Brexit Secretary
Sir Keir Starmer wants Parliament to “move on and I hope tonight that e can begin that process”.
He says: “The fact we are even discussing meaningful vote three, or even four, only has to be said to be seen to be absurd.
“The deal has been roundly rejected twice. We need now to move on and I hope tonight that we can begin that process.”
All eyes will be on Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment when it is voted for in the Commons tonight
7.20pm update: PM and Government will probably lose control of Parliament – Starmer
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer believes Theresa May and her Government will lose control of the Brexit process following voting on the three amendments that have been selected.
He says: “Having disregarded views from across this House for the best part of two years, the Government now finds itself with a deal it just can’t get through this House and time has almost run out.
“Today we see they sort of agree with the initiative to break the impasse but don’t agree with it also. It has to be seen in this context, the Prime Minister’s lost control of the meaningful vote, in truth we’ve got no idea when or if it’s going to be put again or whether it’s winnable.”
Mrs May, he said, had lost control of the negotiations and appeared to have lost control of her party.
Mr Starmer adds: “It is quite clear that control of the party has gone and tonight I think it is likely that the Prime Minister and the Government are going to lose control of parliament and of the process in circumstances where arguably they don’t need to if they’d acted only last week.
“The sense that we’ve got to move forward has been here, it was in the debate last week, it’s not new today and was clear, I think, that many members of this House want to find a way forward and want to break the impasse, feel a duty to break the deadlock.”
7.05pm update: Labour amendment ‘not necessary’, says Lidington
The deputy Prime Minister says: “None of the changes that that amendment seeks to secure are changes to the withdrawal agreement.
“The inference I draw from that is that the official opposition now actually supports the withdrawal agreement and I hope that when Sir Keir Starmer comes to speak he will be able to confirm that he and his party accept that all possible deals with the EU include this withdrawal agreement and that is indeed the clear will of the European Council also.”
He adds: “So, the way forward is for the House to accept the deal, and in particular this week to approve the withdrawal agreement to secure the extension to the 22nd May.
“If parliament comes together and backs the Brexit deal we will leave the EU by 22nd May, we can then end three years of divisive debate and uncertainty and allow the country to move on towards a new future outside the EU, and devote ourselves to the important work of negotiating that deep and special partnership with our European friends and neighbours which this party promised in its election manifesto.
“The Government will make every effort to ensure that we are able to leave with a deal and move our country forward and to allow those who vote leave and those who voted remain to come together in looking to the future.”
6.50pm update: Ken Clarke hits out at Government over Letwin amendment
The Father of the House says: “It sounds like the only objection to the amendment we have today is it has been tabled by a backbencher rather than by the Government.
“Wouldn’t this all be resolved if he would confirm the Government will make this Wednesday available for this purpose because we don’t have much time and it seems we would all be in total agreement to be able to proceed through indicative votes.”
David Lidington says the Commons will not know whether Wednesday is available until after the vote tonight.
6.30pm update: Lidington hints May’s deal could return to Parliament for third vote THIS WEEK
The deputy Prime Minister says: “We know that the legal default position must remain no-deal because from now on any decision about this is contingent not only upon the view that this House might take or the Government might take, but on decisions by the European Council as to whether or not they wish to extend.”
Tory MP asks: “Now the Prime Minister seems to have taken no-deal off the table, so for some us there will be different options to think about.
“I think it’s vital that the withdrawal agreement comes back before the House because if no-deal is off the table, there may well be much worse deals that are put forward by a remainer House that those of us that do not wish to see them happen will feel we’ve got a very, very bad situation.”
Mr Lidington replies: “I certainly hope that we have the opportunity to vote again on the withdrawal agreement during the course of this week.”
6.20pm update: MPs WILL get time to debate Brexit
David Lidington says: “I can confirm the Government will seek to provide government time in order for this process to proceed.
“If this amendment in the name of Oliver Letwin does not pass, we will set aside time for a day’s debate and then after that, we will consider and consult on further time.”
But Conservative MP Nick Boles says the Government’s offer of indicative votes is “hopeless” unless it is known exactly how it will work.
He tweets: “There is no Cabinet minister who enjoys greater trust in the House than David Lidington.
“But his offer of government time to debate alternatives is hopeless without full details of how it will work, how voting will be conducted etc. We must press on.”
Sir Keir Starmer warned talking about another meaningful vote is ‘absurd’
6.15pm update: Revoking Article 50 not a “real possibility”
David Lidington is asked about the petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked, which has been signed by more than 5.5 million people and is the biggest the UK has ever seen.
But he says he does not agree it is a “real possibility” to revoke this.
6.10pm update: Government ‘not dismissive’ of how Parliament decides or votes – May’s deputy Lidington
Theresa May’s deputy David Lidington is now speaking in the House of Commons, and has defended the Government’s stance on how Parliament votes.
He says: “Since March 12, the House has spoken on two further occasions, first on 13th March the House expressed its opposition to leaving the EU without a deal and on the 14th March the House agreed that the Government should seek an extension to Article 50.
“And I might add that in respect of both those votes in this House neither was legally binding on the Government, but in each case the Government has honoured the wishes of the House in response to the resolution.
“I hope that might provide at least a modicum of reassurance that in this Government we do not, we have not and we do not intend to be dismissive in the least of how this House decides or votes.”
5.45pm update: Three amendments selected for debate
Commons Speaker John Bercow has chosen three amendments for consideration as MPs begin the latest round of Brexit debates:
Amendment A, the cross-party amendment put forward by Sir Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn and signed by 109 MPs from all parties, to allow Parliament to seize control of the agenda in the House of Commons on Wednesday to hold a series of indicative votes to establish whether there is a majority for any Brexit outcome.
Amendment D, Labour’s proposal which calls on the Government to provide parliamentary time to debate a range of Brexit options, including Labour’s own plan, the Common Market 2.0 proposals, a customs union and a second referendum.
Amendment F, tabled by Labour former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett, to require Parliament to be given an opportunity in the week before a mooted no-deal Brexit to vote on whether the Government should go ahead and take the UK out of the EU or seek a further extension to negotiations.
David Lidington warned revoking Article 50 is not a ‘real possibility’
5.30pm update: Pound falls after May says there is not enough support for her deal
At 4.50pm, Sterling had fallen 0.3 percent to $1.3175 against the US dollar, and was 0.4 percent lower against the euro at 85.84p.
The currency had jumped earlier today following reports there would be a third meaningful vote for the Prime Minister’s deal as early as Tuesday.
5.20pm update: Government hits back at Labour over withdrawal agreement and political declaration claim
A Government source has denied a claim by Labour that Theresa May proposed separating the withdrawal agreement from the political declaration in the course of her meeting with Jeremy Corbyn earlier today.
The source to the Press Association is was being explained to the Labour side the EU summit conclusions published last week referred only to the withdrawal agreement.
“It was a clarification that came up in the course of a wider conversation,” the source said.
The source said that in order to satisfy the terms of the EU Withdrawal Act, the Commons “meaningful vote” had to cover both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration.
Guy Verhofstadt warned the UK ‘time is running out’
5pm update: Lorry drivers blast Government for activating no deal Brexit plan
Lorry drivers have hit out at the Government for bringing in no deal Brexit plans so early, branding the idea “inflexible” and “outdated”.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) made the claim following tests of Operation Brock beginning, which sees lorries heading for Europe driving at 30mph along the coast bound carriage of the M20.
All other traffic, including lorries carrying out UK deliveries, must now use a 50mph contraflow of two lanes in each direction on the London-bound side of the road.
The test was launched by Highways England from 6am between junction 8 for Maidstone and 9 for Ashford.
The firm is altering its £25million temporary no Brexit plan to avoid traffic jams if large numbers of lorries descend on ports and experience delays crossing the English Cahnnel.
An RHA spokeswoman told the Press Association: “Highways England originally planned to implement Operation Brock as a Brexit contingency.
“The RHA is therefore mystified as to why, considering the fact that Brexit is now over two weeks away, Brock has already been activated.
“Kent motorists recently had to contend with a multitude of roadworks on the M2 and M20, often with full closures of both routes, some simultaneously.
“We think Highways England’s approach is inflexible and needs to change to take account of the prevailing situation.
“As things stand, Kent businesses and residents have to adapt their working patterns to accommodate Highways England plans. This is an outdated concept and must change.”
Highways England said it is obligated to carry out a test before March 29 as this is currently still the day the UK is legally set to leave the EU.
The speed limits would be in place “indefinitely” with the contraflow until further notice while the country waits to hear when it will leave the EU and if this will be with or without a deal, a spokesman confirmed.
4.45pm update: May under attack from MPs for not putting deal to third meaningful vote
Labour’s Steve Reed tweeted: “Humiliation for May as she admits there’s no majority for her useless Brexit deal.
“Her blinkered arrogance is responsible for the whole mess by refusing to engage across the House 2 years ago when she still had time.”
The Independent Group’s Sarah Wollaston, who defected from the Tories last month, tweeted: “Dismal statement from the PM.
“Instead of listening to the 14 men invited to Chequers & 10 members of DUP, better to listen to the million who dropped by her front door to ask her to £PutItToThePeople.”
And Eurosceptic Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: “In the PMs statement she said that “unless the house agrees to it, no deal will not happen”.
“The PM is putting the responsibility solely on the Commons, but it is in her gift to leave on the 29th with no deal.”
Ian Blackford lunched another scathing attack against Theresa May
4.30pm update: Verhofstadt warns ‘time is RUNNING OUT’
Shortly before Theresa May made her statement in the House of Commons, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator tweeted: “Time is running out. A disastrous no-deal #Brexit is more likely than ever.
“It is now up to the UK Parliament to deliver a cross-party majority for a positive future EU-UK relationship.
“The door of the @Europarl-EN remains open to a closer relationship.”
4.20pm update: DUP attacks ‘fundamental lack of preparation’
The Party’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds says: “The Prime Minister has known for some considerable time, and so has the House, that March 29 was the target date, so why hasn’t appropriate preparations been made? Why do we need another two weeks?
“What’s going to happen in another two weeks that couldn’t have happened up till now? This is a fundamental lack of preparation and the Government’s entirely responsible for that, if that’s the case.
“Because this is a new argument, I have to say Mr Speaker, this is an entirely new argument that we’re hearing for the first time as to why we need extension.”
He adds: “Why is it that the Prime Minister ever agreed to this backstop in the first place, which is the thing that bedevils her agreement?”
On border checks, Mrs May replies: “The legal position is a different one in relation to the necessity to be able to have certain checks taking place and the EU has been clear that EU law would need to be applied in all of these circumstances.”
4.08pm update: Indicative votes would be ‘WASTE OF TIME’ – former Tory minister Sir John Redwood
Hillary Benn tells Mrs May to explain whether she intends to pursue a no deal Brexit or apply for a longer extension to Article 50 if her deal is not approved this week.
The Prime Minister replies: “As things stand, I do not believe there is support for bringing back a meaningful vote.
“But I also indicated I was continuing to talk to colleagues across this House and I would hope to be able to bring back a vote in this House that enables us to guarantee Brexit because the one way of guaranteeing Brexit is to abide by the decision that was taken last week and ensure we leave on May 22.”
4pm update: Voters ‘ASHAMED’ of UK Parliament and Government – SNP
The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford asks Mrs May to reject a no deal Brexit.
He says: “What is the point of all of us sitting in this chamber and voting on debates and the Prime Minister thinks she can ignore parliamentary sovereignty? What a disgrace – because if our votes don’t count, then, frankly, we may as well just go home.
“If this Prime Minister is telling the people of Scotland that our votes don’t count when we voted to Remain, we know what the answer is – and the day is coming that the people of Scotland will vote for independence and we will be an independent country in the European Union.”
The Prime Minister responds: “He stands up here proclaiming the benefits of democracy and yet tells me to ‘give it a rest’ when I point out that the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.”
A Donald Tusk aide has said there is ‘no bright future’ after Brexit
3.55pm update: May unmoved on respecting result of any indicative votes
To jeers from the opposition, the Prime Minister says: “I think it’s important that nobody would want to support an option which contradicted the manifesto on which they stood for election to this House.
“MPs elected to this House at this time have a duty to respect the result of the referendum that took place in 2016 and attempts to stop that result being put into place or attempts to change the result of that referendum are not respecting the voters and not respecting our democracy.”
3.52pm update: May’s deal is ‘DEAD’ – Corbyn demands she support plans for indicative votes
He says: “Given the Prime Minister admitted she does not have the numbers for her deal, will she accept today that her deal is dead and the House should not have its time wasted giving the same answer for a third time?”
Mr Corbyn confirms Labour would be supporting Conservative MP Oliver Letwin’s amendment.
He adds: “Rather than trying to engineer a way to bring back the same twice-rejected deal, will the Prime Minister instead allow, rather than fight, plans for indicative votes?
“She cannot both accept her deal does not have the numbers and stand in the way of finding an alternative that may have the numbers.”
Leo Varadkar refused to discuss potential delays at the border in the event of a no deal Brexit
3.48pm update: Corbyn attacks May over Commons speech
The Labour leader is quick to criticise the Prime Minister for her much-publicised speech outside Number 10 last Wednesday, in which she blamed MP for the Brexit crisis.
He says: “It was highly inappropriate for the Prime Minister to try to pit the people against MPs.
“In a climate of heightened emotions where MPs on all sides have received threats and intimidation, I hope the Prime Minister will think again about making what I believe are such dangerous and irresponsible statements.”
3.46pm update: May confirms Government WILL oppose the Letwin amendment
The Prime Minister says it would set an “unwelcome precedent which would overturn the balance of our democratic institutions”.
However Mrs May says the Government will provide time to allow MPs to debate and vote on the alternatives to her deal.
She says: ”It will be for this House to put forward options for consideration and to determine the procedure by which they do so.
“However I must confess that I am sceptical about such a process of indicative votes.”
3.45pm update: May desperately attempts to rally support for deal
The Prime Minister says: “I hope we can agree we are at the moment of decision and in reality we must confront the hard choices before us.
“Unless this house agrees to it, no deal will not happen, no Brexit must not happen and a slow Brexit which extends Article 50 beyond May 22 forces the British people to take part in European elections is not a brexit that will bring the British people together
“The deal I have put forward is a compromise, it seeks to deliver on the result of the EU referendum.
“If this House can back it, we can be out of the EU in less than two months, there will be not further extensions, no threat to Berxit and no risk of a no deal.”
3.40pm update: PM hints at second referendum
She says: “The default outcome seems to be to leave with no deal but this House has expressed its opposition to this path and may very well do so.
“The other way is to pursue a different view of Brexit or second referendum.
“But the bottom line remains, if the House doesn’t approve the withdrawal agreement this week, we will have to seek a longer extension.
“This would entail the UK having to hold European elections and mean we would not have been able to guarantee Brexit.
“These are now choices the House will be able to express its view on.
3.37pm update: May questions indicative voting process
The Prime Minister saysP: “I am sceptical about a process of such indicative votes.
“When we have tried this kind of thing in the past, it has resulted in contradictory outcomes or none at all.
“There is a further risk when it comes to Brexit as the UK is only one third of the equation and the outcome could lead to something that is not negotiable with the EU.”
3.35pm update: PM admits there is not SUFFICIENT SUPPORT to bring her deal back for a third meaningful vote
She says: “I believe the right path is for the UK to leave with a deal as soon as possible on the 22nd May.
“But I regret there is still not sufficient support to bring the deal back for a third meaningful vote.
“I continue to have conversations with colleagues across the House to bring the vote forward to this week.
“If we cannot, we will work to find a majority for a way forward.”
3.30pm update: May set to make major statement in the Commons
MPs are piling into Parliament as they prepare to hear an update from the Prime Minister on her Brexit plan – including whether she plans to bring this pack to the Commons for a third meaningful vote.
Boris Johnson has launched a blistering attack on the Prime Minister
3.25pm update: Corbyn tells May no basis for bringing back meaningful vote for third time
The meeting was also attended by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Chief Whip Julian Smith, as well as their opposite numbers Sir Keir Starmer and Nick Brown.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May met for over an hour in Parliament and had a frank and comprehensive exchange of views.
“Jeremy Corbyn made clear there was no basis for bringing back the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s deal for a third time
“The Labour leader did not accept the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the Withdrawal Agreement could be separated from the Political Declaration.”
3.20pm update: Varadkar refuses to discuss no deal planning – despite EU warning
The Irish Prime Minister is not discussing any potential delays at the border in the event of a no deal Brexit, following a warning by the European commission.
The Commission said “it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on April 12”.
But the Taoiseach would not answer questions about the issue at a photocell event, only saying he wished to see a deal ratified and the Commission’s statement was “just a statement of fact”.
He said: “I’m still confident and I still think it’s likely we will have a deal,” he said.
“However, as every day passes, no-deal does become more likely. That’s just a statement of fact.
“So we’re intensifying our no-deal preparations. They have been very much under way now for months, if not years.
“They are being intensified and finalised at the moment. We need to see now what happens in Westminster over next couple of days and weeks and we’ll take it from there.”
Theresa May leaves Downing Street after today’s emergency Cabinet meeting
Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Tom Nellist.
2.58pm update: MPs could vote on second referendum this week
People’s Vote chairman Roland Rudd has said it is “possible” MPs will vote on holding a second referendum later this week.
Mr Rudd added: “The point about these indicative votes is we’ve got to be very careful we don’t end up with a whole range of undeliverable options.
“One of the great lessons from the last referendum is if you promise something that is undeliverable you hit an inevitable impasse. I think we need a word of warning on that.
“What we really now need is a long extension. We’ve got to have a purpose for a long extension but this is what’s needed.
“It’s what the Prime Minister originally said was one of her options, and she then did a remarkable U-turn and took it off the table. She now needs to put it back on the table.
“She’s got to really speak for the country, not just the party.”
2.45pm update: ‘Deeply frustrating we can’t get rid of May’ says Tory MP
Eurosceptic backbench Tory MP Crispin Blunt has said indicative votes in Parliament would be “irrelevant” and suggested it is “deeply frustrating” Conservatives cannot “get rid of” Theresa May.
“The indicative votes are a distraction from what ought to be a binary choice for Parliament, which is the only way to deliver Brexit, either the Prime Minister’s deal or no deal.
“The indicative votes are very interesting, but irrelevant, unless the Prime Minister makes them relevant.
“This is where she is the absolutely critical decision-maker in this process, and as ever it is wholly unclear what she’s going to do.
“And that’s why I and others voted to see if we could remove her before Christmas. She’s probably still unsure what her strategy is going to be.
“She can’t constitutionally be got rid of as leader of the Conservative Party until December. She got challenged, she won, so she’s free from challenge for a year. So it’s up to her. She remains Sphinx-like, and it’s deeply frustrating trying to guess what the Sphinx is going to do.”
Manfred Weber has said no deal Brexit is ‘more realistic every day’
2.34pm update: Afternoon schedule reminder
3.30pm – Theresa May’s Brexit statement to the Commons
5.30pm – Debate on indicative votes amendment begins
10pm – MPs vote on amendments
2.12pm update: DUP rule out supporting Brexit deal
A Democratic Unionist Party spokesman has confirmed they will not support Theresa May’s deal if she puts it before to MPs for a third time.
The Prime Minister spokes with DUP leader Arlene Foster by phone, asking if there was any sign her party would change its position.
But the DUP’s spokesman said Mrs Foster reinforced deputy leader Nigel Dodds comments from last week that Theresa May’s performance at the European Council summit was a “disappointing and inexcusable” failure.
2.02pm update: Tusk fears fractious UK relationship post-Brexit
European Council president Donald Tusk hopes Britain will retract Article 50 and remain in the EU because he fears a competitive and unhappy relationship with the UK after Brexit, senior aides have claimed.
Senior Brussels associates have said Mr Tusk is convinced the EU’s post-Brexit relationship will not be happy, with shared values and economic co-operation.
Instead Mr Tusk believes the UK and Brussels will be rivals with a tense relationship after Britain quits the bloc.
One official told Politico Mr Tusk believe’s such a poor relationship will develop with the UK because London “will blame the EU for their misfortunes” after leaving.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added: “There is no bright future after Brexit.”
1.34pm update: Boris preparing ‘mother of all U-turns’ over Brexit
Boris Johnson is preparing for the “mother of all U-turns” where he will back Theresa May’s Brexit deal if the Prime Minister resigns.
The former Foreign Secretary launched a fiery attack against Mrs May, branding her a “chicken” in which he claimed she had “bottled it completely” over Brexit.
And now ITV’s Robert Peston has predicted Mr Johnson is set to support Mrs May’s deal so long as “she serves up her own head today or tomorrow”.
He said Brexiteer Mr Johnson would only back Mrs May exit agreement if her chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins is ousted. Mr Peston said Mr Johnson’s own Brexit plan, which is the “grand-daddy of all unicorns, impossibilism on stilts”, is “dead”.
The European Commission has confirmed its no deal plans are complete
1.15pm update: DUP has not warmed to deal
Mrs May has not received the response she hoped for from the DUP.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted: “No shift in DUP position after the call between Foster and May.”
12.47pm update: ‘Substantial’ changes to deal?
One further thing to think about is whether House of Commons Speaker will even allow Theresa May to hold a third meaningful vote.
Last week John Bercow ruled the Prime Minister could not bring her deal back for a third time because there had not been “substantial” changes since it was last defeated.
Since then, not one word of the deal has been changed and Brexiters criticised Theresa May for not taking the opportunity at last week’s European Council summit to press leaders for legally binding changes to the backstop.
Tory Mark Field has become the first government minister to support cancelling Brexit
12.42pm update: May talking to DUP
Theresa May is understood to be talking with DUP leader Arlene Foster as she tries to get the Northern Ireland party behind her deal.
The DUP’s support is crucial to winning over other Tory Brexiters who object to the deal over the backstop which could keep Northern Ireland on different terms with the EU than the rest of the UK.
Without the DUP’s backing, Theresa May’s hopes of winning tomorrow’s planned third vote are dead.
12.38pm update: May’s future linked to tomorrow’s vote
ITV’s Paul Brand adds the Cabinet did not raise the Prime Minister’s future but “there’s a tacit understanding that it is ‘linked to the vote’ tomorrow”.
Meanwhile the Telegraph’s Steven Swinford said there was no agreement on what happens if Theresa May loses tomorrow but she “indicated she will set out ‘next steps’ after the vote”.
12.31pm update: PM planning talks with DUP and Corbyn
Theresa May is understood to be planning to hold a third meaningful vote on her Brexit deal tomorrow but will hold talks with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and Jeremy Corbyn before committing to the date.
Jeremy Corbyn met Theresa May to discuss the possibility of bringing her deal back for a third vote
12.17pm update: Meaningful Vote 3 could be tomorrow
ITV’s Paul Brand tweets: “Understand PM going for Meaningful Vote 3 tomorrow. Only after that will she will consider indicative votes.”
12.09pm update: Cabinet meeting over
Theresa May’s crunch Cabinet meeting has ended and the Prime Minister is expected in the House of Commons shortly to update MPs following last week’s dramatic EU summit in Brussels.
Ministers refused to answer any questions when leaving Number 10.
11.56am update: No deal ‘more realistic every day’ says leading Juncker replacement
The frontrunner to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president has said a hard Brexit “is becoming more realistic every day”.
Manfred Weber warned British MPs not to reject the Withdrawal Agreement, telling business daily Euro am Sonntag: “If Britain is not in a position to accept the outstretched hand of the EU, unfortunately a hard Brexit will become more realistic every day.
“Brexit is a tragedy and the Brexit negotiations are becoming a tragedy, especially for Great Britain.”
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)
11.34am update: Denmark fears French EU dominance
Over in Brussels, Denmark fears France will dominate the EU after Brexit.
The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, said the rest of the bloc must fightback against French efforts to “politicise” and reform EU markets after Britain leaves.
Mr Rasmussen said: “It is just another reason to miss Britain around the table.
“France pushing this perspective is not new but Britain was in the opposite corner, and Germany would strike a balance and reach a compromise.
10.56am update: EU is no deal ready
EU Commission has announced this morning it has completed its no deal planning and warns it is “increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April”.
In a statement, the Commission added it “continues supporting administrations in their own preparations and urges all EU citizens and businesses to continue informing themselves about the consequences of a possible ‘no-deal’ scenario and to complete their no-deal preparedness.
“This follows the European Council Article 50 conclusions last week calling for work to be continued on preparedness and contingency.
“While a ‘no-deal’ scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it.”
Amber Rudd has said the Prime Minister should not offer to resign to get her deal through
10.27am update: Indicative votes ‘constitutionally unprecedented and very serious risk to Brexit’
Brexit has pushed British party politics to breaking point as MPs will tonight attempt to sideline Theresa May’s elected Government and take control themselves.
MPs plan to wrestle control from No 10 in a “constitutionally unprecedented” vote, which could even stop Brexit altogether.
The Prime Minister is battling to stay in power as MPs seek to seize control of parliamentary business with a vote on an amendment, which would force a series of indicative votes on alternatives to Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement as they battle to secure a softer exit from the EU.
At the start of another crunch week in Westminster, defeat for the Government on Monday night on the plan – tabled by former ministers Sir Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve and Labour MP Hilary Benn – would be a further humiliation for Mrs May.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the move was ”constitutionally unprecedented and a very serious risk to Brexit itself”.
The proposal seeks to pave the way for a series of indicative votes in the Commons on Wednesday, effectively taking control of the Brexit process out of the hands of the Government.
10.02am update: Field becomes first government minister to support cancelling Brexit
Foreign Office Minister Mark Field has said he would support revoking Article 50 if it became an option in the event Mrs May’s deal was defeated and free votes granted for indicative votes.
Mr Field told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “My personal view is that I would be happy to revoke Article 50.
“I appreciate that is probably a minority view but if we get to this utter paralysis, and I sincerely hope that in the next 48, 72 hours we do not, then if that becomes an option that’s an option that I would personally take.”
Tory Brexiter Andrew Bridgen has told Mrs May her ‘game is up’ and must resign
9.50am update: Tonight’s amendments explained
MPs will vote on seven amendments tonight, including the option to hold the seven indicative votes on alternative Brexit options being considered by the Prime Minister.
The amendments are:
Labour – Orders government to make time in Parliament for indicative votes
- Liberal Democrats – Extend Article 50 for second referendum
Letwin – Allows MPs to seize control of Parliamentary business for indicative votes
Quince – Brexiteer proposal to recommit Parliament to delivering Brexit
Cooper – Orders Government to explain how it will stop no deal by Thursday
Soubry – Forces second referendum
Beckett – Gives Commons final say on whether UK leaves without a deal
MPs will vote from 10pm tonight and Speaker John Bercow will announce which amendments he has selected for debate this afternoon.
9.41am update: Cabinet showdown underway
The Telegraph’s Steve Swinford reports the indicative votes reading room meeting scheduled for 9am was cancelled and the Cabinet showdown has begun early.
9.27am update: Here’s a reminder of what is in store for Brexit this week:
Brexit: What happens next?
9.11am update: Rudd emerges as key May ally
Amber Rudd has backed Theresa May ahead of the 10am Cabinet meeting and said the Prime Minister should not resign in the face of intensified criticism from Tory Brexiters.
The work and pensions secretary told Sky News: “I think the Prime Minister is doing the right thing, thinking about the national interest, about this country and trying to end this chaos by getting this agreement through.”
Liam Fox could be an ally for the Prime Minister in today’s Cabinet meeting
8.54am update: Fox suggests PM’s resignation may not be enough
Cabinet Brexiter Liam Fox has questioned whether Theresa May setting a departure date would be enough amid mounting calls to quit from her own MPs.
“I don’t know what any numbers would be that my colleagues in the whips office or elsewhere would say.
“I think there is a lot of supposition in this.”
The International Trade Secretary added he felt the Prime Minister is respected by voters across the country, saying: “What I was finding from real voters was people spontaneously saying ‘I don’t understand how Theresa May puts up with the pressure, she is a great public servant, her resilience is amazing’,” Dr Fox told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“There seems to me to be a bigger disconnect now between Westminster and what is happening out in the country than ever before.”
Mr Fox added the government would only bring a third meaningful vote “if we think we can win it” and Tory Eurosceptics must accept that MPs would block a no-deal Brexit in Parliament.
He said: “For a lot of my colleagues, I think they still believe there is a route to no deal. I have come to the conclusion some time ago that was unlikely given the House of Commons that we have.
“I think we will see today that there is a mood in the House of Commons to stop us leaving without a deal, even if that means no Brexit. I think that is a constitutionally disastrous position.”
Michael Gove was relaxed before this morning’s crunch Cabinet meeting
8.39am update: Another Tory eurosceptic echoes calls for Theresa May’s head
Nigel Evans said Theresa May would have no choice but to resign if her Brexit deal is defeated for a third time.
Mr Evans also said the Prime Minister must promise to quit to stand any hope of getting the Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the joint executive secretary of the 1922 Committee said: “She basically gets her deal over the line first and then announces that she is resigning so that there can be an orderly replacement of the prime minister.
“There would be clearly competition between members of Parliament and then two names would go to the membership.
“There doesn’t need to be an interim caretaker leader at all.
“The Prime Minister is the prime minister. Once she has got her deal over the line I just think it is important for her legacy, this moment.”
Asked what the Prime Minister should do if she suffers another humiliating defeat on her divorce deal, Mr Evans said: “I am afraid then she would have to go.
“What we are talking about then is the fact that April 12 is the new deadline day which is a bit of a problem and then of course there is May 22 and then there is the prospect of fighting the EU elections which is unthinkable as the Prime Minister herself said and therefore I think that is a real problem for the Prime Minister.”
Daily Express: Get behind PM and sort out Brexit!
8.21am update: ‘Your game is up’ Brexiter Tory MP tells May
Hard Brexiteer Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen hopes the Cabinet will tell Mrs May her “game is up” when they meet later this morning.
Mr Bridgen told Sky News: “I hope that the Cabinet will tell the Prime Minister that the game is up.
“I think the Prime Minister does not have the confidence of the parliamentary party.
“She clearly doesn’t have the confidence of the Cabinet and she certainly doesn’t have the confidence of our members out there in the country.”
Mr Bridgen added he was not afraid of a general election which he hoped would freshen up Parliament with more MPs supportive of Brexit.
8.15am update: MPs to discuss indicative votes
MPs will be shown a plan for indicative votes on seven Brexit options: The PM’s deal; no deal; a second referendum; revoking Article 50; a Canada-style free trade agreement; a custom union; and joining the single market. If the plan is signed off by Cabinet this morning, one thing is for certain — Tory Brexiteers are set to go insane.
8.07am update: Michael Gove appears relaxed ahead of today’s brutal Cabinet showdown
Environment secretary Michael Gove looked relaxed as he went for a run before today’s Cabinet showdown.
The Brexiter was pictured this morning emerging from his home but could he be returning to a different number 10 by the end of the day?
8.01am update: Daily Express says: Get behind PM and sort out Brexit!
Our front page this morning calls for MPs and the Cabinet to rally behind Theresa May and support her deal.