MPs to start 5 day Brexit Withdrawal Agreement debate

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The parliamentary manoeuvres came at the start of five days of debate on the deal May struck with the European Union last November, which has been strongly opposed from lawmakers on all sides of the House of Commons. And I think people are beginning to realise that it's the Prime Minister's deal or there may not be a Brexit'.

The Commons amendment, tabled by Labour's Yvette Cooper, is created to limit the Treasury's ability to spend money on no-deal preparations, without the explicit consent of Parliament. Lawmakers would have the power to amend that plan.

It is the second setback faced by the prime minister within 24 hours, inflicted by a cross-party group of MPs who want to block a no-deal Brexit.

"It is important that the European Union and Irish government continue to ensure that Irish interests are maintained in the coming days and weeks as Brexit looms".

The government initially felt it had seen off the latest "guerilla warfare" plot from the rebels, because it thought the amendment tabled by former cabinet minister Dominic Grieve would not be allowed under Commons rules.

The vote came hard on the heels of Tuesday night's Commons defeat for the Government on a motion meant to limit its powers to change taxes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

May told lawmakers that parliament had a choice: back her or risk Britain leaving the bloc without a deal - a scenario many businesses say would splinter supply chains and hamper investment in the world's fifth largest economy. At the December EU summit, Theresa May was to secure guarantees in writing that would reassure MPs on the Irish backstop and change their minds on her withdrawal agreement. The date of the vote was pushed back until after Christmas after minister accepted that the deal was heading for a crushing defeat.

The withdrawal agreement is good both for the United Kingdom and for the EU.

"It's important to put in context that the majority of elected representatives are opposed to Brexit, so in terms of giving the Assembly and the DUP a veto on any of those things in the future that will not be acceptable to Sinn Fein and I dare say it'll not be acceptable to the other (pro-Remain) parties", she said. And there is no clear majority in Parliament for any single alternate course.

"The real question for Members of Parliament who voted to give the public a say through the European referendum in 2016, who voted in large numbers to trigger Article 50, is the outcome of triggering Article 50 is you either have a deal and the EU have been clear that the only deal on the table is the PM's deal".

She set out further clarifications she hopes will win over her own Conservative MPs and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her government in parliament.

"The majority of people of the north voted to reject Brexit".

A top European parliamentarian urged British lawmakers to show "responsibility" over the divorce deal.

An EU diplomat told AFP on Tuesday that "we are convinced that Theresa May will request a postponement after the agreement is rejected in the British parliament".

A Number 10 spokesman said: "We are surprised that the Grieve amendment was selected, the advice we received was that it would not be in order".

Mr Grieve said the amendment was an attempt to "accelerate the process" if the vote was lost so as to avoid the prospects of a no-deal Brexit.

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