Theresa May suffers Brexit setback over no-deal scenario

Theresa May feeling the stress of Brexit on her last visit to Brussels More

Theresa May feeling the stress of Brexit on her last visit to Brussels More

We expect the wait-and-see approach adopted by currency trades towards Sterling to persist until the outcome of the vote is known and therefore are not expecting any major moves until next week.

Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, told ITV's Peston on Wednesday it would be an "absolute betrayal" of the 17.4 million voters who backed Brexit, if the United Kingdom did not leave as planned.

The Cardiff Central MP, a supporter of the People's Vote campaign for a second EU referendum, said: "The EU has made it clear, repeatedly, that there is no prospect of a deal that differs, in any substantial form, from that negotiated with Theresa May".

There were some defenders of Bercow on the government benches, with veteran MP Ken Clarke claiming some his colleagues should "don a yellow jacked and go outside" - a reference to the band of protestors who had harassed MPs and journalists in recent weeks.

Mark Francois, a Tory Eurosceptic, said Bercow had often described himself as a "servant of this House" but "I have never known any occasion when any Speaker has overruled a motion of the House of Commons".

A series of MPs rose to complain that the vote should not go ahead as the Government motion should not be amendable.

However, a sizeable defeat (100+ MPs) would suggest the European Union are unlikely to offer anything substantive and a big directional shift in Brexit strategy is required by the government.

No 10 is now considering accepting an amendment tabled by Leave-supporting Labour backbencher John Mann that would provide for additional safeguards on workers rights and environmental protections.

There were unusual scenes as the speaker, John Bercow, accepted an amendment that forces the May government to come up with a Plan B within three days of the withdrawal agreement being voted down on January 15.

"The prime minister will be updating parliament tomorrow and she will be talking about the clarifications, the reassurances that parliament is seeking that the backstop will not be permanent".

He said: "If we have a guarantee that works on workers' rights and conditions, that's significant".

"Bercow's unprecedented ruling could change the course of Brexit", said the BBC.

A senior Downing Street source said they were "surprised" Mr Bercow permitted the division as ministers had received advice the business motion was unamendable. History and precedent did not allow for amendments to such a motion, was the government's firm view.

"I don't think we can have a situation whereby the Northern Ireland executive or assembly has a veto power because that would essentially give one of the two communities veto power over the other", Mr Varadkar said, adding that he had not yet had a chance to read the proposal. "The terms of the order, I must advise the house, do not say no amendment can be selected or moved".

"I've been in contact with European leaders...about MPs' (members of parliament) concerns".

He said the choice was between May's deal, no deal or "to reverse the 2016 referendum entirely".

But May's spokesman insisted: "We will not be extending Article 50".

With the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit rising, the European Union is looking at how Brexit might be postponed, and pro-EU campaigners are testing ways Britain could hold another referendum after voters narrowly backed leaving in 2016.

"It is a warning to the Government not to drift into No Deal at the end of March by accident or through brinkmanship", she said. The scale of the defeat suffered by the deal in the first vote is key: if the scale of the defeat is marginal then markets could bid Sterling higher on the assumption it will cross the line in the event of some fresh concessions being offered by the EU.

A majority of members of Parliament oppose a no-deal Brexit, but it remains the default option if May's deal is rejected.

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