Theresa May ponders fourth bid to pass deal

Posted April 01, 2019

If only 15 Labour MPs could be converted into supporters too, her deal would scrape though at this spectacularly late juncture - and that might happen if the PM were to write into the body of her latest meaningful-vote motion the essence of the amendment laid last week by the Labour MPs Gareth Snell and Lisa Nandy.

Data from the last three votes may shed some light. Time is of the essence, we have got Brexit to deliver.

But a No 10 source indicated the prime minister would continue to seek support in the Commons and insisted efforts were "going in the right direction".

It is unclear now how Britain's political parties would agree to cooperate on an issue like Brexit, which has split the country and its two major political parties - Mrs May's ruling Conservatives and Labour.

MPs will hold a second round of indicative votes in the Commons on Monday to find out if they can find agreement on a way forward.

A version of this proposal received the most support in the first round, falling just six votes short of a majority.

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But accepting a customs union could see Brexiteer ministers including Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom walk out.

"There are now a really limited range of options", Conservative deputy chair James Cleverly told Sky News. "I don't think the British people would thank us if we left without a deal".

"I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this house", she said.

"I think it's very telling that the Article 50 withdrawal agreement is increasingly called Theresa May's deal so it makes it clear exactly where the blame lies when things go wrong".

Nicky Morgan, a former cabinet minister and fellow Tory MP, said there may need to be a government of national unity to end the deadlock over Brexit.

Britain is in a "national crisis" and Theresa May must consider a "second or third choice" Brexit including a customs union if MPs back it, a senior minister said today.

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In the end, voter turnout was far lower than expected at just over 65%, which is thought to have hurt the pro-democracy parties. The commission said on Monday it will announce the official results of the final 150 seats in the 500-seat parliament on May 9.

However Mr Gauke told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: "If Parliament is voting overwhelmingly against leaving the European Union without a deal but is voting in favour of a softer Brexit, then I don't think it's sustainable to ignore Parliament's position and therefore leave without a deal".

May has blamed MPs, but they say it is her refusal to change course that is blocking any solution.

"I prefer Labour governments and I hope we never get to a point where our economy or security is so in peril that we get a government of national unity", he told Prospect Magazine.

Moved by Labour's Graham Jones and Tory former minister Dominic Grieve, this proposal would require a referendum, if necessary, to prevent the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal.

Because the a parliamentary rather than a presidential system, a new party leader could take over without having to hold a general election.

But Downing Street later said this was not an "inevitability".

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