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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 0°C
House of Commons/PA Images
# today in brexit
Theresa May told to expect wave of ministerial resignations if MPs can't block no-deal Brexit
Theresa May delivered her “plan B” to the House of Commons yesterday, and remains under sustained pressure.

THE UK PRIME Minister has been warned that dozens of members of her government will resign if they’re banned from voting for a plan to stop a no-deal Brexit.

It comes as a cohort of Conservatives are seeking to delay Brexit altogether by extending Article 50 if it remains impossible for the House of Commons to agree a way forward on Brexit, the Times reported this morning.

The group is headed by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has told Number 10 that MPs should be allowed a free vote on plans that would clear the way for Article 50 to be extended. 

Article 50 is the mechanism through which the UK is leaving the EU, but the option remains open to extend that leaving date of 29 March until parliament is able to ratify some sort of deal agreed with the EU. 

Theresa May faced the House of Commons to deliver her much-anticipated “plan B” on Brexit yesterday, following the resounding defeat to her deal last week.

She said she plans to return to Brussels to discuss changes to the deal she agreed with EU leaders last month, despite an overwhelming rejection of the draft text by MPs last week.

“I believe we can make progress” on the so-called Irish backstop, she told parliament, adding that she would be consulting with MPs about possible changes and “then take the conclusions of those discussions back to the EU”.

Addressing the House of Commons, she said after last week’s vote it became “clear the government’s approach had to change”. 

The UK prime minister ruled out holding a second referendum, as it would create a concerning precedent. May added that it could “damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy”.

Although there are widespread concerns about the UK leaving with no deal on 29 March, May also appeared to rule out extending Article 50 yesterday, saying it would go against the referendum result.

Among those who could resign if she refuses to rule out a no deal are, Business Minister Richard Harrington, Culture Minister Margot James, Defence Minister Tobias Elwood and Justice Secretary David Gauke, the Times reported.

Minister Amber Rudd has told May to expect up to 40 resignations if she refuses to allow MPs a free vote on blocking a no-deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister will face a series of votes next week where MPs from varying factions in the House of Commons will try to force a change of direction regarding Brexit.

With reporting from Christina Finn

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