As it happenedended1554332674

Brexit news - live: MPs pass emergency law forcing prime minister to avert no deal by one vote

Follow our live coverage of the day’s political events

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
,Adam Forrest
Wednesday 03 April 2019 23:35
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Brexit: MPs pass emergency law forcing Theresa May to seek further delay to avert no deal by one vote

A cross-party bid to block a no-deal Brexit has cleared the Commons after Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn met for last-ditch talks to break the deadlock.

In a series of late-night votes, MPs backed the bill, tabled by Labour's Yvette Cooper, which was rushed through in a single day to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal next Friday.

It comes after Ms May was hit by two ministerial resignations over her decision to hold talks with Mr Corbyn, which also sparked fury among Tory MPs.

Mr Corbyn said the meeting in the prime minister's Commons office was "useful but inconclusive", adding: "There has not been as much change as I expected".

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Brexit crisis on Wednesday, 3 April.

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 07:34
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A reminder of some of the angry remarks made by the ERG, hard Brexiteers and the DUP about the prime minister’s big move last night.

Jacob Rees-Mogg described her offer to Jeremy Corbyn as “deeply unsatisfactory” and accused Ms May of planning to collaborate with “a known Marxist”.

Boris Johnson said: “It is very disappointing that the Cabinet has decided to entrust the final handling of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.”

And the DUP stated: “It remains to be seen if sub-contracting out the future of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn, someone whom the Conservatives have demonised for four years, will end happily.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 07:48
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Environment secretary Michael Gove said he backed the talks because he wants to leave the EU. He told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “One of my concerns has been that there are people within the House of Commons who want to frustrate that referendum mandate - there are people who want to do everything possible to prevent us leaving - and I wanted to ensure that minds are concentrated so that we do leave.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 07:49
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Here’s what we know about the move by Sir Oliver Letwin and Yvette Cooper to pass a Bill through the Commons on Wednesday to stop the UK crashing out of the EU.

Instead of initiating a third round of indicative votes on Wednesday, when Parliament once more has control over the Commons timetable, Sir Oliver will table a paving motion to allow debate and votes on Ms Cooper's Bill. An amendment to his motion would set aside April 8 for indicative votes.

The single-clause Cooper Bill requires the Prime Minister to table her own motion seeking MPs’ approval for an extension to the Article 50 process of Brexit talks to a date of her choosing.

The group behind the Bill, which also includes former Tory chair Dame Caroline Spelman, Commons Brexit Committee chair Hilary Benn, former attorney general Dominic Grieve and Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, hopes once it has passed the Commons it could be approved by the House of Lords and granted Royal Assent in time for the emergency EU summit on April 10.

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:00
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Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:05
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Tory grandee Sir Oliver Letwin has spoken very positively about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the Today programme this morning.

He said: “I think he is somebody we can do business with. We’re all part of one country and, yes, we have some pretty profound political differences.

“But the fact is ... on the Labour benches, on the Conservative benches and on other benches, there are many, many sensible people all of whom in their different ways are devoted to the best interests of this country.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:11
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More cabinet support for the prime minister this morning. Culture secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The public wants parliament to resolve this and so far it’s not been possible.

“I support the PM in speaking to the leader of the opposition to see what we can collectively do to deliver Brexit as the people instructed us to.

“Given where we are, a short extension is necessary for us to work together on a deal that Parliament will accept. I want the UK to leave the EU with a deal, but no deal remains possible and we must continue to prepare for it.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:13
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What exactly might Jeremy Corbyn be demanding from Theresa May when he meets her later today? In February he wrote to the prime minister pledging to offer support if she agreed to five commitments.

Here’s Chris Baynes with more on Labour’s red lines.

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:17
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Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said Labour was entering Brexit negotiations with the prime minister with an open mind.

“We’re not setting any red lines for these discussion with the prime minister. Certainly a customs union is part of our sensible plan and indeed it’s interesting to note that one of the indicative votes this week was on a customs union and that was one that lost by the fewest votes so we hope the prime minister will be looking at that very, very closely.”

She added Labour’s support for another referendum in the latest indicative votes was “just to move matters ahead”.

“Certainly the People’s Vote didn’t satisfy all elements of our conference policy but we wanted to have that on the table so members could have the opportunity to look at that if they wanted to.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:25
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Some cabinet ministers giving their support to the prime minister this morning, but what about those thought to be in favour of a no deal Brexit?

Asked if any were set to resign over her offer to Labour, the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg says “not yet” and suggests “nothing has been agreed” in the cabinet. “There are some very, very cross people around this morning.”

Adam Forrest3 April 2019 08:36

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