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Brexit: See how your MP voted on the contempt motion

07 December 2018
Brexit: See how your MP voted on the contempt motion

According to BuzzFeed, Downing Street advisers have urged Theresa May to consider a second referendum or a softer Brexit as options, as her team work out the best response to her deal being rejected.

Parliament's vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal will go ahead on December 11, her office said on Thursday, despite a newspaper report ministers had sought a delay to prevent a defeat so big that it might bring down the government.

But, on a day when Theresa May suffered three Brexit defeats in the Commons - in which ministers agreed to publish the government's full legal advice on the deal - Mr Benyon justified his decision to rebel against his party in search of a "pragmatic" Brexit.

May signalled that she was determined to plough on with a vote and suggested a "parliamentary lock" on the Irish backstop could persuade more MPs to back it.

'The most important thing is to have clarity about how we might remove ourselves from a backstop, ' Sir Graham told the BBC's Newsnight.

Sky News understands Mrs May would struggle to delay the vote because the debate leading up to it has already started - meaning she would need to win another vote adding an amendment to push it back.

"And, frankly, I think any parliamentarian who wants at some point in the future to be in Government is going to live to regret their vote last night".

But speaking in Tuesday's Commons debate Sir Graham said "there has to be a way to leave" the backstop mechanism without the EU's approval.

"It is unfortunate for Government to be in contempt of Parliament, would she agree that it is worse for Parliament to be in contempt of the British people, which is what will happen if we do not deliver on Brexit". Within moments, Sir Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, took to Twitter, arguing the advice revealed "central weaknesses" in the United Kingdom government's Brexit deal.

Former foreign minister and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said May was wrong to say parliament might be able to choose whether to trigger the backstop or extend a transition period, under which more European Union membership terms would apply.

She said she understood there were concerns from MPs in Parliament over the backstop, a failsafe that would prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Surviving Brexit in a town that voted to leave.

"Despite statements in the Protocol that it is not meant to be permanent and the clear intention of the parties that it should be replaced by alternative, permanent arrangements, in global law the Protocol would endure indefinitely until a superseding agreement took its place", the advice said.

More than 100 Tories have said they will reject it and her Northern Irish allies in the Democratic Unionist Party have also vowed to vote it down.

One possibility is that she will have to go back to Brussels to try and secure a more palatable proposition, something the European Union has repeatedly dismissed as unlikely.

Green MP Caroline Lucas questioned Mr Cox's claim earlier this week that the advice should not be published "in the national interest".