UK's Brexit vote to go ahead on schedule

Britain's May launches high-stakes parliamentary debate on Brexit plan

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable repeated calls for a second European Union referendum, saying: "Theresa May's majority has evaporated and the credibility of her deal is evaporating with it".

Mrs May is reportedly dead set on delivering the result of the 2016 referendum and "loses her temper and raises her voice" when the prospect of a re-run of the vote is raised.

MPs have restarted their five-day long debate on Theresa May's Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Theresa May has signalled that MPs could be given the power to decide whether the United Kingdom goes into a controversial Brexit backstop arrangement regarding the Northern Irish border.

The Times newspaper reported that senior ministers were urging the prime minister to delay it for fear of a rout.

The former foreign secretary said: 'Under her deal the European Union has the legal right to stop us extending the transition and make us enter the backstop, whatever the PM or parliament says.' Chancellor Philip Hammond will be among ministers visiting schools, businesses and hospitals today in a bid to win public backing for Mrs May's deal.

"We believe ours was a fair and appropriate format for those taking part and, crucially, for our audiences around the country, and it is a shame we will not be able to bring them this programme", the BBC said in a statement.

In an interesting aside, Stephens noted that it is unlikely that Cox himself would have actually written the advice; it would be usual for an attorney-general to seek advice from a legal expert in that field.

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"The question is: do we go into the backstop?"

Now May is trying to get her deal approved by a parliament which shows every sign of striking it down in a vote on December 11.

Opening a third day of debate, Mr Hammond told the Commons a no-deal Brexit would be "too very bad to contemplate".

"(It) would mean an immediate and probably indefinite loss of some security capability which, despite our best efforts, would likely cause some operational disruption when we leave", he said.

The Prime Minister has privately spoken with her closest aides about what to do next if her deal is voted down in the Commons, BuzzFeed News reports, despite Number 10 publicly insisting there is no plan B in place. In the implementation period we still have to negotiate the terms, but there will be concerns that there would be more money to be paid, for example.

Mr Javid warned that "no matter how effectively" the government prepares for a no-deal Brexit, there would be "consequences" for the UK's security. On Wednesday, May's parliamentary enforcer, or chief whip, Julian Smith, spent an hour meeting pro-Brexit Conservative and DUP lawmakers, listening to their concerns about the deal.

MPs backed the amendment - put forward by Dominic Grieve - by 321 votes to 299 as they headed into five days of debates on the Brexit withdrawal agreement ahead of the crucial vote on Tuesday next week.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said that the 33-paragraph document revealed "the central weaknesses in the Government's deal".

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