Deputies Vote on May Brexit Deal – Live


DUP to vote against agreement
Arlene Foster, leader of the Northern Ireland Democratic-Unionist Party, said on Twitter the party "would oppose a toxic retreat" – a policy to avoid a hard Irish border in the withdrawal agreement. The 10 DUP votes are needed for conservatives to reach the majority in parliament.

What are they voting for? A recap:

The withdrawal agreement which Mrs May agreed with Brussels puts an end to the freedom of movement and gives Britain the right to establish its own immigration rules.

If, as planned, Ms. May misses, she has three days to draw up a plan B.

The proposed agreement would allow the United Kingdom to remain in the EU single market and follow its rules until December 2020 in a transitional period initiated after the official divorce on 29 March. The transition period can be extended on both sides if necessary.

The most controversial issue is Northern Ireland, where the agreement provides for a "setback" to avoid border controls between the UK and Ireland, an EU member country. This means that much of Northern Ireland's economy would be policed ​​as if Britain had never left the EU, a prospect that outraged the Unionist Democratic Party, which supports Mrs May's government in Westminster, as well as Conservative Eurosceptics .

Other points of contention include reciprocal fishing rights and a bill for Britain that was estimated at around £ 39 billion.

What follows defeat?

The FT and many other publications are predicting a heavy defeat for Mrs. May, by a margin of about 200 votes.

That means politicians of all kinds are looking beyond the vote.

Sir Keir Starmer, a Labor Party spokesman for Brexit, said today that the Labor Party was preparing for a vote of distrust in the government. He did not say exactly when, but announced that it would be "soon".

Conservative Nick Boles, who has joined with colleagues Nicky Morgan and Sir Oliver Letwin to try to design a new Brexit plan, has now tabled a bill to "make provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union."

Labor MP Hilary Benn withdrew her proposed amendment that would have sought a vote against the non-agreement. He said on Twitter that this would allow the House of Commons to give its "clearest expression" to the government's agreement.

Andrew Murrison, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, also tabled an amendment that would prevent the Irish "pullback" agreement from extending beyond the end of 2022.

Gove: "Winter is coming"

Michael Gove, environmental secretary and proponent of the 2016 Leave campaign, quoted Game of Thrones character Jon Snow in the BBC Radio 4 Today Program to warn that "if we do not vote for the deal tonight … winter is coming". He said the Brexit agreement, while not perfect, was a "door" to leave the EU and how to respect the outcome of the referendum.

What the newspapers say
Predictions of defeat for Mrs May appear a lot in the UK newspapers this morning.

The FT reports that parliamentary chaos is likely after the prime minister's last resort to Eurosceptics to support it seemed doomed.

The Guardian expects Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn to call a vote of distrust on the prime minister in the event of a major loss to her in the House of Commons.

"Out of allies, out of time" is the Daily Telegraph's verdict, which reports that ministers are saying that Ms. May will have to give up if she loses her vote for a "heavy margin."

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, leads with its own comments in support of Mrs. May's withdrawal agreement, which says it "takes back control of our borders, laws and money." The tabloid in support of Brexit also makes a "sincere appeal to parliamentarians on this important day" to "put their country first".

May wait
The prime minister will have hopes raised after five conservative lawmakers from Brexiter have backed his plans. She hopes that more are trapped between a rock and a difficult place – in this case, she is also opposed to remaining in the EU and facing the potential shock of a Brexit without compromise – and thus end up supporting her plan.

Prediction of votes

Financial Times journalists Martin Stabe and James Blitz, using code written to scour Twitter and parliamentary APIs, analyzed MP's intentions to vote that Ms. May could lose by a margin of more than 200 votes. That is, if all Conservative MEPs who have indicated that they will vote against their Brexit agreement will keep their word. Read their article here

Parliamentary Mathematics
Parliamentary mathematics is tricky for tonight's vote, which should start at 7:00 pm but may be postponed by a series of amendments tabled by Members. Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to be defeated in the vote, which means that many are now debating the size of the loss. A relatively modest withdrawal – say, fewer than 100 votes – could give her the confidence to press Brussels to have revisions she could put on a second ballot that represents a better chance of success. But the historic defeat envisaged by some experts could mean the end of his rule. The last time a government was defeated by more than 200 votes was almost a century ago, but many analyzes – including those of FT itself – estimate that it could lose up to 225 votes.

For more information about permutations, click here:…-9e64-d150b3105d21

Welcome to the FT live blog on another tumultuous day in Westminster with Prime Minister Theresa May asking parliament to vote under her Brexit agreement tonight in the face of widespread opposition from parliamentarians. Many hope that the vote will result in a blunt defeat that could lead to Mme. May have to return to Brussels in the hope of drawing more concessions, even if the opposition threatens a vote of distrust in his government.


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