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Brexit news: Theresa May stands by her deal in face of renewed threat from Conservative rebels

Follow all the latest updates

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
,Ashley Cowburn
Tuesday 11 December 2018 19:30
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Theresa May: 'The deal we've negotiated is a deal that honors the referendum, it's the only deal available'

Theresa May has claimed her Brexit blueprint is “the only deal available” after she travelled to Europe in a desperate scramble to win concessions from EU leaders.

The prime minister was forced to shelve Tuesday's crunch vote on the withdrawal agreement in the face of near-certain defeat by Tory rebels, embarking instead on a whistle-stop diplomatic tour of European capitals.

It comes as Tory rebels renewed a push to overthrow her, with some members of the European Research Group claiming more letters calling for her resignation have been submitted.

Meanwhile, Downing Street said the delayed vote would take place by 21 January, though insiders hope it could be before depending on what happens in Brussels.

To follow events as they unfolded, see our live coverage below

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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 08:33
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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 08:33
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Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, has suggested that Theresa May was seeking changes that would give Parliament an additional "democratic ability to decide".

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "That might include an addendum to the Withdrawal Agreement that sets out that Parliament will vote prior to going into a backstop, should that prove necessary, and potentially that the EU parliament and UK parliament must vote every year thereafter to provide that legitimacy for the UK to stay in the backstop, should that prove necessary.

"So there are plenty of options for the PM to talk to the EU about that don't involve reopening the Withdrawal Agreement, but that would provide the legal text as a part of the Withdrawal Agreement, through perhaps an addendum."

Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 08:34
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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 08:42
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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 09:00
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Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Rebecca Long-Bailey - the shadow business secretary - suggested that Labour would not table a motion of confidence until the PM returns from Brussels.

It comes after demands to do so from dozens of Labour MPs and the leaders of other major political parties, including the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Long-Bailey told Today: "We need to judge when the opportunity arises as to when this would be most successful, and we are currently liaising with various political parties across Westminster."

Asked about Ms Sturgeon's criticism of Labour over a second referendum, she added: "What we have said is that our priority is not at this time for a second referendum.

"We want to secure a deal, we respect the result of the referendum."

Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 09:04
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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 09:32
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Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 09:50
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This is from the Labour MP Stella Creasy on an event held last night by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 10:16
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Four opposition parties have written to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to join them in tabling a no confidence vote in Theresa May. 

The letter was signed by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, SNP leader in Westminster Ian Blackford and Plaid Cymru Westminster group Leader Liz Saville Roberts.

They said there was an "overwhelming" case for a confidence vote to take place now and suggested it would pave the way to a second referendum on EU membership.

"We believe a motion of no confidence must be brought forward at the earliest possible opportunity, to ensure there is enough time to pursue another course," they wrote. "Therefore we want to emphasise again that you will have our full support if you put down a motion of no confidence."

But Labour has made clear the best opportunity to challenge Ms May with such a motion would be following a critical defeat on her Brexit bill.

The party said on Monday: “We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful.

“It is clear to us that Theresa May will not renegotiate the deal when she goes to Brussels, and will only be asking for reassurances from EU leaders.

“When she brings the same deal back to the House of Commons without significant changes, others across the House will be faced with that reality.

At that point, she will have decisively and unquestionably lost the confidence of Parliament on the most important issue facing the country, and Parliament will be more likely to bring about the general election our country needs to end this damaging deadlock.”

Ashley Cowburn11 December 2018 10:33

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