EU officials told crunch parliament Brexit deal vote will happen on 10 or 11 December

Vote would happen before next European Council meeting

Jon Stone
Brussels
@joncstone
Sunday 25 November 2018 15:31
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Jean-Claude Juncker says MPs who vote down Theresa May's Brexit deal will be 'disappointed in the first second'

EU officials have been told to expect the parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal on 10 or 11 December, according to senior sources in Brussels.

The date for the vote has not been officially confirmed by the British Government but it is now expected to be held before the next meeting of the European Council on 13 December.

Parliamentary arithmetic currently suggests that MPs are likely to overwhelmingly reject Theresa May's deal, with votes against from her own MPs – both eurosceptic and remain – as well as Labour, the, DUP, and the other opposition parties.

It is understood that EU leaders did not discuss the meaningful vote at today’s Brussels summit where they signed off the plan.

“I don’t think there were any ‘what if’ questions asked to Theresa May today, quite a few were wishing her good luck,” one senior EU official said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today branded the plan “a miserable failure of negotiation that leaves us with the worst of all worlds”.

EU chiefs spent the day in public trying to win support for the agreement. Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the agreement was "the only deal possible".

The EU has ruled out renegotiating the agreement, but is likely to come under huge pressure to do so at its meeting in December once it has been rejected.

If the government loses the vote it must consult MPs on what to do next.

The Government has suggested that is the deal is voted down there could be "no Brexit at all" or perhaps a chaotic no-deal, but refused to say what it would do. Theresa May today declined to rule out resigning if she lost the vote.

There has been speculation that MPs could be later asked to vote again by Downing Street if the first division does not go its way. Labour and other opposition parties said they would oppose a no-deal.

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