UK PM Theresa May suffers parliamentary defeat on Brexit procedure

Image      MPs are due to vote on the PM's EU exit agreement in the next 10 days

Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday that despite the difficulties of Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to get the deal through Parliament, he continues to hope she can pull it off next Tuesday.

She may present parliament with a number of options, including renegotiating the deal with the European Union, a second referendum, no-deal and extending the March 29 Article 50 deadline.

She faces daunting odds in getting the deal passed, and suffered a stinging defeat on Wednesday when MPs voted for an amendment demanding she produce new plans within three days if the agreement is voted down.

Mr Bercow has been accused of bias by some Tory MPs over his decision to break with Parliamentary precedent by allowing a vote on a government motion, which handed MPs more control over the Brexit process.

"We're discussing with Downing Street what these clarifications might amount to".

Weber said a no-deal withdrawal would "lead to very hard, perhaps even chaotic situations".

Mr Bercow selected a proposal from former minister Dominic Grieve, which attempts to speed up the process for the Government to reveal what it will do next if Theresa May's deal is rejected.

It is likely to prompt an angry response in Brussels, which has repeatedly rejected efforts to put a time limit on the backstop, meant to avoid a hard border in Ireland if no wider trade deal has been agreed.

It could also open the door to alternatives, such as a referendum.

Britain's de-facto deputy prime minister, David Lidington, said politicians must abandon "fantasies about magical alternative deals that are somehow going to sort of spring out of a cupboard in Brussels".

But he said that, coupled with a new pledge of a "strong role" for the Stormont Assembly in the operation of the backstop, it marked a "welcome step forward" towards building support for Mrs May's deal.

His urgent amendment won by 308 votes to 297, another blow for May and her negotiators.

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Among those voting against were 17 Conservatives, including former ministers Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah and Jo Johnson who want to see another referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom should leave or not.

The vote marked the second embarrassing Brexit defeat for Mrs May in the space of 24 hours.

Late Tuesday, legislators backed an amendment to the Finance Bill that puts roadblocks in the way of government spending on no-deal Brexit measures.

But Mr Bercow defended his decision amid jeers and heckles from the Tory benches, saying: "I'm trying to do the right thing and make the right judgments".

'That is what I have tried to do and what I will go on doing'.

Hinting the March 29 Article 50 deadline could be extended, Hunt said: "If this deal is rejected, ultimately what we may end up with is not a different type of Brexit but Brexit paralysis".

"I think that is something that we would regret for many, many generations".

Brexiteer former minister Crispin Blunt warned many no longer regarded him as a neutral arbiter of Commons proceedings and urged him to "reflect" on his position.

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

- What did Mr Bercow say?

"I think parliament is very committed to try to stop no-deal, but I think we have to recognise that there is a deal on the table, it does broadly deliver the Brexit people voted for, and if we don't find a way to get this through, we are taking some very big risks".

There was a major row in the Commons over whether Wednesday's amendment could even be put to a vote, with Speaker John Bercow apparently disregarding the advice of his own clerk that it could not.

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