Extremely concerning: Mays office on MPs plot to take control of Brexit

Amendments being tabled by Labour and Conservative Remainers are due to be voted on next Tuesday, and include measures to force Article 50 to be delayed or revoked, or trigger a second referendum.

The Irish backstop - an insurance policy to avoid the return of a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland - is the most contentious element of British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal which was overwhelmingly rejected by parliament last week.

She also played down expectations the European Union could agree to extend Article 50 to give the United Kingdom more time to negotiate beyond the current divorce date on 29 March, saying: "Where is the added value of the new British suggestion?"

He said Labour would back an amendment next week that would rule out the "disaster" of a no-deal Brexit - and he challenged her to confirm that she would do that if MPs voted for it.

But Mrs May will not be able to impose her own position on the party or even her government.

Sammy Wilson, the Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party, said: "More belligerent bluffing from the European Union in a desperate attempt to up the ante".

But Mr Corbyn dismissed the talks as "a PR sham", telling MPs: "The Prime Minister must change her red lines, because her current deal is undeliverable".

It is also created to keep on board different wings of the party which back a "Norway-style" Brexit and a second referendum.


"We need bold action", he was quoted as saying.

The Labour leader said he would not take part until a no-deal Brexit was taken off the table, a position also taken by the SNP following an initial meeting between Mrs May and Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

The 650-seat parliament is deeply divided over Brexit, with different factions of lawmakers supporting a wide range of options including leaving without a deal, holding a second referendum and seeking a customs union with the EU. PM May acknowledged that after her Brexit deal failed to pass, the government's approach had to change and has since been working with a variety of political leaders of the House of Commons aiming to gain additional support for a deal.

More amendments may be forthcoming - which could allow lawmakers to insist that the "no deal" option be removed, that a second referendum be held or that the Irish border backstop be time-limited. "It is a bit of a mystery to me what the British government wants to negotiate with Dublin or what sort of an additional agreement it should be", he told German television.

As pressure grew, Tory MP Nadine Dorries last night said her Brexiteer colleagues were realising that they must support Mrs May's plan to avoid "Europhile Kamikaze MPs" taking charge.

She will then "take the conclusions of these discussions back to the EU".

Sir Stephen Laws QC, the Government's former top constitutional lawyer, says he can foresee a situation where Government ministers would ask the Queen to withhold Royal Assent from a bill to prevent it becoming law, a scenario he fears would have "potentially horrific, constitutional consequences". Given that a chaotic countdown to a disastrous "no deal" Brexit - in which the UK crashes out of the EU single market and customs union - would poison UK-EU relations for decades to come, no responsible politician should even entertain the possibility.

"The #GFA is an worldwide peace treaty, lodged with the @UN - it also has a mandate of 94% in Ireland and 71% in Northern Ireland". Downing Street said it was "extremely concerned" by the backbenchers' moves.


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