Lidington insists cabinet united despite some voting against Brexit delay

Lester Mason
March 16, 2019

Mrs May has said she will seek to restrict any Brexit delay until June 30 but Mr Tusk will look to push leaders into accepting a far more gruelling extension to the EU's Article 50 exit clause.

The past week's votes have exposed divisions in the UK's two largest parties.

The "room document" says the European Council of leaders can't allow the EU is "paralysed by the consequences of an extension".

The Cheshire MP, who resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary over the deal four months ago, said Leaver MPs will "have to think a different way" when the Prime Minister's European Union divorce returns to the Commons next week. "If it is rejected tonight I hope that it will be put to bed", Johnson told parliament.

Speaker of the House John Bercow yesterday drew the House's attention to a passage in Erskine May, the authoritative treatise on British parliamentary practice; which prohibits the same motion from being put forward repeatedly after being rejected by MPs - as the withdrawal agreement has already failed to gain MPs' approval twice, drawing the largest and fourth largest United Kingdom government defeats in modern history, the Erskine May passage could be argued to apply in this case.

On Thursday, eight members of the cabinet - including the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay and leader of the house Andrea Leadsom - voted against Mrs May's ultimately successful motion to extend article 50.


Unless an agreement is made, Britain is still at legal default to depart from the bloc on March 29.

Prime Minister Theresa May will try to persuade MPs for a third time to back her Brexit deal over the coming days.

Speaking on a visit to Paris, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said "everyone would welcome" MPs approving the deal and Brexit being briefly pushed back to get the necessary legislation through.

Downing Street sources denied that Mrs May had lost control of her Cabinet or her party, insisting that the results were a "natural consequence" of her decision to offer a free vote on an issue where many hold strong views.

The Prime Minister is expected to hold her third "meaningful vote" on the agreement next week before heading to Brussels to discuss an Article 50 extension.

If MPs refuse to accept the deal on the table, or if the European Union grant a longer extension, then the Prime Minister can negotiate an entirely new deal. Options in the longer term might include agreeing to a softer kind of Brexit, holding a general election or a new referendum.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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