Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers the largest Commons defeat in 95 years

Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers the largest Commons defeat in 95 years

Germany and France are said to be willing to extend withdrawal negotiations until 2020, The Times of London reports: "Previous planning had centred on a three-month delay to Brexit from March 29 until the end of June but now, according to multiple sources, European Union officials are investigating legal routes to postpone Britain's withdrawal until next year". The total may climb above 100, perhaps leaving Mrs May in second place behind Tony Blair, who faced a rebellion of 139 over his plan to take Britain to war with Iraq in 2003 (he won the vote anyway, with the backing of the Tories).

Theresa May speaks during the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on January 16, 2019, ahead of a debate and vote on a motion of no confidence in the government. The vote was postponed from mid-December, with little changing over the holidays as members of parliament overwhelmingly opposed the deal. This action set 29 March as the date of departure.

May countered to say that people voted for Brexit in order for the United Kingdom to be able to strike its own trade deals, while still maintaining a close trading partnership with Europe. Her defeat, 432 to 202, was the worst endured by a sitting government in British history.

Instead, the prime minister's opponents, both those who want a harder Brexit, and those who want a softer Brexit - or none at all - were eager for the next phase of battle.

The new government will be confirmed in office by passing a resolution in the Commons "This House has confidence in Her Majesty's Government". May has also promised to consult with senior MPs to discuss the changes required to secure parliamentary support, which will provide the basis for further consultations with the EU.

There is growing speculation in London and Brussels that she could seek to delay Brexit to avoid a no-deal scenario.

What has the opposition said?

Theresa May has survived a no-confidence vote in her government and fended off Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's attempt to force a general election. This vote will occur on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

What will happen if Theresa May wins the vote of no confidence?

May now has 24 hours to save her government.

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The prime minister's own backbenchers rebelled in huge numbers over the divorce deal, but the ringleaders said they would still back her in the confidence vote scheduled for around 6am on Thursday.

What has the European Union said?

Previously, EU officials had suggested that a much smaller defeat of the Brexit deal, of around 60 votes, would give them something to work with and that they had some concessions up their sleeves to get it over the line.

European Council President Donald Tusk highlighted the quagmire the United Kingdom had sunk into, and hinted that the best solution might be for Britain not to leave.

May has warned another vote "would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics". They also restated that the Northern Ireland backstop is a temporary and emergency measure, only to be used in the absence of a future trade agreement. Amid the myriad complexities surrounding the terms of the EU-U.K. divorce, the decision has strained the U.K.'s constitutional arrangements.

The prime minister said an election was "simply not in the national interest".

Barnier's comments referred to the future relationship, suggesting the European Union might be open to talks about the "political declaration", the legally non-binding annex to the withdrawal agreement, that lays out the basis for negotiations on the future relations and trade deal.

The rapidly running out of time before the March 29 deadline.

Explaining it, he said: 'The Bill would say this that if the PM has not secured a compromise bill and got it through Parliament by the end of the first week of March then she would be legally mandated to write to the European Union and ask for a nine month extension to Article 50.

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