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Brexit news: Theresa May promises parliamentary vote on second referendum in desperate bid to force through exit plan

Follow live updates from Westminster

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
,Lizzy Buchan
Tuesday 21 May 2019 14:30
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Theresa May promises parliamentary vote on second referendum in desperate bid to force through exit plan

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Welcome to today's live coverage from Westminster.

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 08:37
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Philip Hammond will deliver a major speech tonight in which he will warn Tory leadership candidates not to pursue a no-deal Brexit, saying "the 2016 Leave campaign was clear that we would leave with a deal".

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 08:54
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This morning's cabinet meeting gets underway at 9.30am.

Theresa May spent much of yesterday meeting her ministers in small groups to ensure she has enough support for her plan, which involves a last attempt to get her Brexit deal through parliament by offering a number of what No10 is calling "bold" concessions to Labour MPs and anti-EU Tories. In reality, the changes are said to be relatively minor, and it is widely expected that the deal will be rejected again.

Ms May was reported to be warning ministers that if this happens, it would make a no-deal Brexit, a second referendum or a general election more likely.

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 09:10
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Here is the full extract of Philip Hammond's speech tonight that has been pre-released by the Treasury. The chancellor will warn prospective Tory leadership candidates about the risk of "a new prime minister abandoning the search for a deal, and shifting towards seeking a damaging no-deal exit as a matter of policy".

Speaking at the CBI's annual dinner in London, he is expected to say:

"On the populist right, there are those who now claim that the only outcome that counts as a truly legitimate Brexit is to leave with no deal.

"Let me remind them: the 2016 Leave campaign was clear that we would leave with a deal.

"So to advocate for no deal is to hijack the result of the referendum, and in doing so, knowingly to inflict damage on our economy and our living standards.

"Because all the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences of no deal.

"So I will continue to fight, in the face of this polarisation, for a negotiated Brexit - an outcome that respects the British people's decision to leave, while recognising that there is no mandate for a no-deal exit, and that we have an absolute obligation to protect Britain's jobs, businesses and future prosperity.

"But we need to be clear that if we do not resolve this issue in the next few weeks, there is a real risk of a new prime minister abandoning the search for a deal, and shifting towards seeking a damaging no-deal exit as a matter of policy... to protect an ideological position which ignores the reality of Britain's economic interests and the value of our union."

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 09:25
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The cabinet is deeply divided over whether the UK should opt for no-deal Brexit if Theresa May fails to get her Withdrawal Agreement Bill through parliament next month.

As Philip Hammond prepares to warn that "all the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences of no deal", Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said the UK must be "prepared to walk away".

She told BBC Radio 4's Today

"I continue to support the prime minister to get her Withdrawal Agreement Bill through. It is leaving the European Union and so long as it continues to be leaving the European Union, I continue to support it.

"What I do think is that for any negotiation to succeed, you have to be prepared to walk away."

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 09:37
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Tory peer Michael Heseltine, a former deputy prime minister, has had the party whip suspended after saying he will vote Liberal Democrat in this week's European Parliament elections.

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 09:47
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Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has said there are "a large number of things" she wants to say to Donald Trump during his state visit to the UK next month

Shadow foreign secretary has previously described the US president as 'giant asteroid of awfulness'

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 09:54
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Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has taken caramel waffles into this morning's cabinet meeting after being caught on camera enjoying the sweet snack yesterday.

Mr Hancock was seen carrying a packet of caramel waffles as he arrived in Downing Street for the meeting.

On Monday, after nibbling on the waffles before an interview, he was teased by Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who said: "There's 356 calories and 16.2g fat - that's your fat content for the day gone.

"Given we're a breakfast show, is this your rallying cry to the nation: have a caramel waffle to get you going?"

But the health secretary replied: "All good things in moderation."

He later tweeted: "Nothing wrong with a bit of waffle in politics from time to time."

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 10:12
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Fears about chlorinated chicken being sold in UK shops after Brexit have been dismissed by a US food official – as he revealed poultry is now being washed in acetic acid instead.

Washington insists its safety standards are ‘more advanced’, with chlorine-washing now being phased out in favour of acetic acid

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 10:29
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Labour supporters fear their party taking on a Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson more than one led by any other potential Tory leadership candidate, according to a survey by the LabourList website.

The former foreign secretary had a huge lead over his rivals, with 45.2 per cent picking him as the most difficult opponent. International development secretary Rory Stewart was in second place with 7.6 per cent, followed by work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd (7.1 per cent) and environment secretary Michael Gove (7 per cent).

However, 72 per cent of LabourList readers also said Mr Johnson was the candidate who "would be most damaging to the country as prime minister".

Benjamin Kentish21 May 2019 10:50

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