Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has insisted that the option of a new Brexit poll remains on the table as he admitted that Labour’s preferred scenario of a snap general election is looking unlikely.
Labour has tabled an amendment to the Government motion requiring Mrs May to either put her deal to a Commons vote by February 27 or allow Parliament to take control of the process.
Mr Corbyn (pictured) is tackling conflicting opinions on whether to back a second referendum – with some frontbenchers clear that they would not back one
The news comes as Theresa May (pictured today) faces the prospect of a fresh Brexit rebellion from hardline Tory MPs in a key Commons vote on the Prime Minister’s EU withdrawal stance
And now anti-Brexit Labour MPs, junior shadow ministers and grassroots members have told The Guardian they are prepared to resign if Mr Corbyn does not also lend his support to a pro-referendum amendment later this month.
In January the Labour leader tabled a Commons amendment that would require the Government to provide time for Parliament to legislate for ‘a public vote’ on the final Brexit deal.
Dutch prime minister claims Britain is a ‘diminished’ country because of Brexit
The Dutch prime minister claimed last night that Britain is a ‘diminished’ country because of Brexit.
During a speech in Switzerland, Mark Rutte also warned that leaving the European Union without a deal would lead to ‘insurmountable’ consequences for the British economy.
During a speech in Switzerland, Mark Rutte (pictured) warned of the consequences of Brexit
Calling for more EU unity, Mr Rutte said: ‘We should stick together, now more than ever. Because if the chaos of Brexit teaches us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as splendid isolation.’
However, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith hit back, saying: ‘Europe is mired in mess and debt and the UK made a bold decision to join the rest of the world.’
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg added: ‘EU leaders are now resorting to mere abuse as their beloved institution flounders. Happily we are taking back control and can afford to laugh at their foibles.’
But Mrs May warned MPs they had given too little thought to the damage a second poll would do to public trust.
Mr Corbyn is tackling conflicting opinions on whether to back a second referendum – with some frontbenchers clear that they would not back one.
While others, including Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, have noted that the option of a second public vote should be considered.
Anger in the Labour party reared its head on Wednesday evening, as MP Neil Coyle tweeted Jeremy Corbyn.
He said: ‘Members leaving in their thousands over Brexit. Cllrs quitting. MPs will leave. Antisemitism continues in your name. Only you can change all this.’
One Labour MP, Geraint Davies, has tabled an amendment calling for a referendum on Mrs May’s deal – which will be voted on tomorrow.
The Labour leadership is set to back a proposal from backbencher Yvette Cooper, expected to be debated on February 27, that would require a vote by the middle of March on delaying Brexit.
The news comes as Theresa May faces the prospect of a fresh Brexit rebellion from hardline Tory MPs in a key Commons vote on the Prime Minister’s EU withdrawal stance.
As MPs again vote on Brexit options on Thursday, Eurosceptic Conservatives are threatening to oppose the Government’s motion.
Also today, European Council president Donald Tusk expressed frustration at a lack of progress in London.
He tweeted: ‘No news is not always good news. EU27 still waiting for concrete, realistic proposals from London on how to break £Brexit impasse.’
And Dutch PM Mark Rutte told the Financial Times the Netherlands is already benefiting from businesses relocating from a ‘diminished’ Britain.
Eurosceptic MPs call on Theresa May to discipline Brexit negotiator following comments in bar
Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator was hung out to dry by ministers yesterday after suggesting the UK’s exit from the EU would be delayed unless MPs vote for her deal next month.
Olly Robbins angered Eurosceptic MPs after it emerged he had been overheard in a Brussels bar telling colleagues that Parliament would face a stark choice at the end of next month between backing Mrs May’s deal or a ‘long’ extension of Article 50. The comments were not disputed by No 10.
Eurosceptic MPs called on Mrs May to rein in Mr Robbins, or even sack him.
Former Brexit minister Steve Baker said his comments were ‘most unfortunate’, adding: ‘The Prime Minister is the ultimate negotiator for the UK’.
In a bid to keep lines open with EU leaders, Mrs May spoke with French president Emmanuel Macron and Romanian president Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday evening.
Commons Speaker John Bercow will choose which amendments will be selected for a vote on Thursday.
Leading pro-Europe Tory Kenneth Clarke has tabled an amendment calling for MPs to be able to rank Brexit options in order of preference on a ballot paper under the alternative vote system.
An amendment from Labour MP Roger Godsiff calls for an extension of the Brexit negotiation period to allow for a second referendum.
A cross-party initiative supported by Tory Anna Soubry and Labour’s Chuka Umunna tells the Government to publish its most recent official briefing on the implications of a no-deal Brexit for business and trade.
And the SNP has tabled a motion requiring the UK Government to begin immediate negotiations with the European Council to extend Article 50 by no less than three months.
The Government suffered a heavy defeat in the Lords on Wednesday night as peers demanded a ‘meaningful vote’ on the PM’s Brexit deal before the end of the month.
The opposition motion, backed by 155 votes to 69, majority 86, also called on Mrs May to rule out a no-deal split with Brussels.
Just six existing EU trade deals have been agreed ahead of Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union
Just six existing EU trade deals – necessary in the event of No Deal – have been agreed in preparation for Brexit day.
Trade Secretary Liam Fox has pledged to roll over 40 deals signed by the EU with 70 different countries to ensure they still apply to the UK after March 29.
But a document, leaked to The Sun, revealed only six such deals have been agreed so far.
It gave amber warnings to nine countries, including major economies South Korea and Canada.
Trade Secretary Liam Fox (pictured) has pledged to roll over 40 deals signed by the EU with 70 different countries to ensure they still apply to the UK after March 29
Red and black warnings were given to 23 other deals, including with Japan, Turkey and Mexico. This means they have no chance of being signed in time. The UK benefits from the deals, which cover 11 per cent of overall trade and are mostly based on World Trade Organisation rules, thanks to EU membership.
Dr Fox said if there was a deal with the EU the agreements would continue until the end of the ‘transition’ period in 2020.
Yesterday he told the Commons the talks would inevitably ‘go down to the wire, as ‘that’s the way that countries do business’.
But Labour trade spokesman Barry Gardiner said ‘inadequate’ Government resources were ‘focused on the wrong priorities’.
It came as US carmaker Ford warned a No Deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic’ for its British operations. Earlier this week it was reported the company, which employs 13,000 Britons, is preparing alternative sites overseas to avoid No Deal disruption.