Labour MPs rebel to vote down Cooper's no-deal amendment

Labour MPs rebel to vote down Cooper's no-deal amendment

Labour MPs rebel to vote down Cooper's no-deal amendment

British MPs who are loyal to the prime minister will back alternative plans for a softer Brexit if an amendment tabled by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, which is created to delay Britain's departure and rule out a no-deal exit, wins a majority in the Commons on Monday, the Times reported.

It is unclear how the political deadlock will pan out in Britain because her deal was previously voted down, by British MPs, and the European Union said it will not renegotiate the agreement she arranged with member states.

"If my amendment is carried, she goes back to Brussels and says: you wanted to know what we can get through the House of Commons?"

May's spokesman said she backed an amendment that called for the removal of a controversial "backstop" arrangement in her deal to keep open the border with Ireland after Brexit, in favour of "alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border".

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday sought parliamentary approval to return to Brussels to re-negotiate the withdrawal agreement, but European Union officials insisted that it is not possible to re-open talks on the controversial "backstop" for Ireland-Northern Ireland.

The plan - called the The Malthouse Compromise after Kit Malthouse, the MP who brought the parties together - would lead to Britain leaving the European Union "on time and with a functioning government", former Brexit minster Steve Baker said.

A second amendment turning heads has been put forward by the Labour chair of the Home Affairs select committee, Yvette Cooper.

Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Parliament's first duty was "to block a disastrous no deal", and he believed that, whatever the outcome over the coming weeks, it was inevitable the government would have to delay Brexit, as there was not enough time to pass the necessary legislation.

A third option dubbed the "Malthouse" plan emerged overnight, put together by a group of Conservative MPs.

Calling on parliament to reject Cooper's plan, May asked MPs to "send an emphatic message" to Brussels about the deal the United Kingdom wanted.

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May has already spent months trying to amend the backstop with no success, but has promised to return to Brussels if that is what her MPs want.

Following that debate, lawmakers would be able to offer further amendments on alternative plans for Brexit.

Parliament will vote on proposed changes to May's beleaguered Brexit plan from 7 p.m. London time, with Speaker John Bercow choosing which amendments get picked.

Mr Fox, however, insisted that backing the amendment would strengthen the Prime Minister's hand when it came to reopening negotiations on the backstop - meant to ensure there is no return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.

May wants lawmakers to support the proposal authored by senior Conservative lawmaker Graham Brady to call for the backstop to be removed and replaced with "alternative arrangements".

May's approach drew praise from Brexit-backing lawmakers but prompted scorn from their pro-EU colleagues.

Anti-Brexit MPs believe the European Union will not agree to the proposal, and pushing ahead with it simply wastes time that could be spent striking a different deal.

Nigel Dodds, the Westminster leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - whose MPs Mrs May's government relies on to win key votes - welcomed the announcement, saying: "From day one. we rejected the backstop and argued for legally binding change within the withdrawal agreement".

Their plan involved a "recasting" of the Northern Ireland backstop as "free trade agreement-lite" with a commitment on all sides there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland and an extended transition period to December 2021.

We both agreed, United Kingdom and European Union, we don't want a hard border in Ireland.

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