Politics update: May loses more control of Brexit deal in Commons defeat, Corbyn demands general election

Politics update 26.03.2019 Indicative Votes

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May loses second Commons vote, giving her three days to set out plan B

Dominic-Grieve-Commons

Dominic Grieves

Theresa May now has three days to set out a plan B for Brexit if her deal is rejected in parliament next Tuesday, after the government lost another key vote in the Commons.

Dominic Grieve’s amendment was tabled under permission from Speaker of the House John Bercow, in a controversial move which caused uproar amongst MPs, who accused him of being biased against Brexit.

MPs voted 308 to 297 to accept Grieve’s amendment, which gives parliament more control over the Brexit outcome, meaning Theresa May will have to return within three days with a fresh plan in the event of a defeat.

In dramatic scenes in the Commons after the vote was allowed by the Speaker, as government sources had previously alleged that the move went against the advice received by the House of Commons. some Tory MPs shouted “pathetic” and “ridicluous” as Bercow spoke, though he defended his decision.

“I am clear in the mind that I have taken the right course,” he said. “The terms of the order, I must advise the house, do not say no amendment can be selected or moved. I cannot allow debate but I have selected the amendment.”

Corbyn demands general election to end Brexit deadlock

Corbyn-EU-Meeting

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will use a speech on Thursday to repeat his demand for a general election, calling on Theresa May to give the British public “the most democratic option” to break the Brexit deadlock.

The speech will frame Labour’s approach to next week’s ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons, and indicates the steps that Corbyn intends to take if May’s deal is defeated.

At the speech in Wakefield on Thursday, Corbyn will say: “A government that cannot get its business through the House of Commons is no government at all. So I say to Theresa May: if you are so confident in your deal, call that election, and let the people decide,”

“To break the deadlock, an election is not only the most practical option, it is also the most democratic option.”

Labour international trade spokesman suggests no confidence motion could be table immediately after ‘meaningful vote’

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow international trade secretary, suggested Jeremy Corbyn could table a vote of no confidence in the government “immediately” after the expected defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit deal next Tuesday, in an attempt to force a general election.

Gardiner told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The next thing to do, immediately after that, is for there to be a vote of no confidence in the government,”

“The appropriate time to table a vote of no confidence in the government is when the government loses its key legislation and no longer commands a majority in the House of Commons.”

Mr Gardiner said the “country should be demanding a general election”, arguing that would happen “in any other country around the world”.

May meets with Japan PM as government announces £30m research collaboration

Shizo Abe

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is due to meet Theresa May at Downing Street on Thursday, to discuss future trade collaboration that will strengthen the two countries ties before Brexit.

On the agenda will be a planned collaboration on medical research, robotics and data, in new research which has £30m pledged in initial funding. Part of the research is hoped to help fight illnesses such as dementia, whilst other solutions aim to help develop greener transport.

Downing street said that the technology up for discussion could potentially create 175,000 new jobs in the UK, and boost the country’s manufacturing sector by £445bn over the next decade.

In addition, ahead of Thursday’s meeting Downing Street announced that Japan would be removing the export ban currently in place on beef and lamb, which has been in place since 1996. International trade secretary Liam Fox said the ban would “give a £127m boost to farmers and food producers across the whole of the UK, from the Scottish Highlands to the Welsh Valleys.”

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