MPs endorse Mays Brexit strategy

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MPs have voted to endorse Theresa May’s Brexit strategy – but only after her government made a series of concessions to head off possible defeats.

Labour’s plan for the UK to join a customs union with the EU after Brexit was again defeated by MPs.

Jeremy Corbyn could face pressure to get behind another EU referendum after saying he would do that if he lost.

Brexiteer Tories voted against a call to delay Brexit if the PM’s deal is rejected.

Labour’s Brexit proposals were defeated by 323 votes to 240 – a bigger margin than the last time MPs voted on them.

MPs also rejected an SNP motion saying the UK should not leave the EU without a deal “under any circumstances” – by 324 to 288.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment, which the government supported, was backed by 502 votes to 20, with a small group of Tory Brexiteers voting against it.

Amendments withdrawn

The amendment contained Theresa May’s commitment on giving MPs a vote on delaying Brexit if both her deal and no-deal are rejected by MPs.

Mrs May announced this policy as she promised MPs a meaningful vote on her deal by 12 March.

The move was designed to head off a possible defeat when MPs voted on Ms Cooper’s amendment.

Ms Cooper did not drop her amendment, because she wanted to hold Mrs May to her word – although the government has said it accepted the proposal.

Conservative MP Alberto Costa’s amendment, which seeks to protect the rights of UK citizens in the EU and vice versa, even if there is a no-deal Brexit, was accepted by the House without a vote, after the government said they supported it.

Mr Costa said he was still forced resign as an aide to Scottish Secretary David Mundell because of a convention that members of the government cannot table amendments to government motions.

Conservative MP Caroline Spelman opted not to put her amendment – calling for the PM’s promise to to give MPs a vote on delaying Brexit to be made legally binding – to the vote, after reassurances by the government.

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