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May’s government survives no confidence vote
Theresa May’s government has survived Wednesday’s no-confidence vote by a majority of 19, despite the disastrous defeat for the Brexit deal on Tuesday.
The prime minister was expected to win the vote after it became clear few Tory MPs would be voting against the government, and the DUP publicly vowed to support the government as part of their confidence and supply arrangement.
Speaking immediately after the results of the vote on Wednesday evening, the prime minister said she would carry on working to “deliver on the result of the referendum”. The PM also invited the leaders of opposition parties to join her in talks to discuss Brexit, saying: “I would like to ask the leaders of the parliamentary parties to meet with me individually, and I would like to start those meetings tonight.”
However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said later in the debate that he would not meet with the PM to discuss Brexit unless no-deal was taken off the table “once and for all”.Liberal Democrat MP Sir Ed Davey also said that his party would require the same in order to join talks with the prime minister.
Speaking on Wednesday, Theresa May’s spokesman told reporters that members from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid Cymru had indeed been invited to meet with the PM, but that a no deal would not be taken off the table, adding that May was “determined to deliver on the verdict of the British public and that is to leave the EU on 29 March this year.”
Labour MPs come out in support of a second referendum
Labour MPs signing this morning's statement…71 pic.twitter.com/UkfwVkjzTR
— Dan Sabbagh (@dansabbagh) January 16, 2019
A group of 71 Labour party MPs have came out in support of a second referendum, calling a fresh vote the ““the only logical option” if the party could not force a general election via a no-confidence vote.
The statement came just 2 hours before party leader Jeremy Corbyn opened a debate in the House of Commons on the no-confidence motion which the government later won by a majority of 19 votes.
Former Labour frontbenchers Lilian Greenwood and Debbie Abrahams were amongst the MPs who signed the letter demanding that the party officially back a second referendum.
The statement says that the opposition “must try and remove this government from office as soon as possible”, however it adds that “the removal of the government and pushing for a general election may prove impossible,” in which case Labour should focus on “putting the decision back to the people for a final say, in a public vote, with the option to stay and keep the deal that we have.”
Leaked tapes show Irish government preparations for hard border
Leaked tapes have revealed that the Irish government is expecting to introducer border check on goods crossing the Northern Ireland border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, contradicting the Irish government’s official position on the issue.
In the tape, Tánaiste Simon Coveney tells a fellow minister that there would be checks in the event on no-deal, “but we can’t get into where they’ll be at this stage”.
“But once you start talking about checks anywhere near the Border, people will start delving into that and all of a sudden we’ll be the Government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland,” he adds.
The opposition now say the tape reveals a “private understanding” in government that a hard border is becoming more likely as the Brexit process continues. The official position of the Irish government has always been that they would not impose a hard border under any circumstances.
Macron: EU referendum was ‘manipulated by fake news’
French president Emmanuel Macron told an audience that the EU referendum was manipulated by “fake news”, and that the British people have been “lied to”.
Speaking before the catastrophic defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, Macron told an audience at a town hall meeting in Normandy that the “first losers of [no deal Brexit] would be the British”, before explaining his own view of the way the referendum itself was run.
Speaking at the meeting, Macron said: “It’s a referendum that has been manipulated, from the exterior by a lot of what we call fake news, where everything and anything was said, and now they are being told ‘figure it out for yourselves’
Continuing, the French president added: “Good luck to the representatives of the nation who have to implement a thing which doesn’t exist, and explain to the people: ‘you have voted on a thing, we lied to you’. That’s what they have to go through.”
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