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The Prime Minister Theresa May has taken the extraordinary step of cancelling tomorrow’s crucial Brexit vote following an emergency conference call with her Cabinet this morning, according to multiple Cabinet sources.
The decision is set to be confirmed by the Prime Minister in a statement to the House of Commons at 15:30 this afternoon.
Mrs May’s statement will be immediately followed by another statement from the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, regarding changes to Commons business – a procedure which all but confirms tomorrow’s crucial Brexit vote will at least be delayed.
It is also being reported that the Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, will also make a further statement regarding Article 50.
The PM was facing a crushing defeat over her proposed Brexit deal, and has now reportedly decided against holding the vote in an attempt to avoid a potentially catastrophic embarrassment for her leadership.
Incredibly, the Prime Minister’s decision reportedly came just minutes after her official spokesman had reaffirmed that the vote would go ahead.
The UK is set to leave the European Union on March 29th next year, and if MPs are now not allowed the chance to vote on a deal, anything appears possible.
Although it has not been officially confirmed yet, the most likely scenario is that Theresa May will attempt to renegotiate the deal with the EU in an attempt to persuade more MPs to back it.
Any renegotiation would come despite both the Prime Minster and the EU insisting that they would not countenance any further changes to the deal being made.
If Mrs May is not able to renegotiate a deal that a majority of MPs will support, the only two feasible outcomes to resolve the impasse would be to hold either a General Election or a second referendum.
Responding to the news, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon reaffirmed that the party will be ‘pushing for a General Election’, but denied that they would submit a motion of no confidence in the government.
Whilst the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated on Facebook:
“The Government has decided Theresa May’s Brexit deal is so disastrous that it has taken the desperate step of delaying its own vote at the eleventh hour.
We have known for at least two weeks that Theresa May’s worst of all worlds deal was going to be rejected by Parliament because it is damaging for Britain. Instead, she ploughed ahead when she should have gone back to Brussels to renegotiate or called an election so the public could elect a new government that could do so.
We don’t have a functioning government. While Theresa May continues to botch Brexit, our public services are at breaking point and our communities suffer from dire under-investment.
Labour’s alternative plan for a jobs first deal must take centre stage in any future talks with Brussels.”
Also reacting to the UK government’s decision, The Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has declared that negotiations cannot be reopened, and absolutely no room for manoeuvre on the infamous Irish backstop agreement within May’s deal.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar : The Withdrawal Agreement incl Irish Backstop is the only Agreement on the table… it is not possible to reopen any aspect of that agreement. Via @KevDoyle_Indo #brexit pic.twitter.com/ogEmEfRknH