MPs vote against adopting Labour's Brexit plan

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MPs have voted against adopting Labour’s Brexit policy in the latest Commons battle over the UK’s approach to leaving the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal, which includes close trade ties with the EU and keeping the UK in a customs union, was defeated by 323 votes to 240.

In theory, the defeat means Labour will now move to back a second Brexit referendum after Mr Corbyn said on Monday he would move to do so if his Brexit plan was rejected.

The Labour leader told his MPs he was ready to support moves to demand a public vote ‘to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country’.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer was clear that Labour would put forward or support a ‘People’s Vote’ at some point, without providing detail on when this might happen.

Labour spokespeople have been ambiguous about the party’s support for a second Brexit vote, saying they will ‘continue to push for other options’, including their alternative approach to the deal.

Shadow minister Richard Burgon tweeted there would be more opportunities to back Mr Corbyn’s plan, and failed to mention the notion of another Brexit referendum.

MPs also rejected an amendment from the SNP to rule out no deal under any circumstances by 324 votes to 288.

Senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper put forward an amendment pinning down the Prime Minister on promises she made this week, which was approved by 502 votes to 20.

Around 80 Tory MPs abstained on the vote, showing the PM is far from able to rely on the hardcore Eurosceptics in her party.

After bowing to pressure from her own party, Theresa May said yesterday if she loses she would then give MPs a chance to vote on whether they want to leave without a deal.

If this is then voted down, MPs will vote again on whether they wish to delay Brexit for a ‘short period’.

What is the EU’s current position?

European leaders have said today that they could block proposals to delay Brexit.

Speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris, the French president Emmanuel Macron said: “We would support an extension request only if it was justified by a new choice of the British.”

Mrs Merkel said: “If Great Britain needs more time we will not oppose it but of course we are seeking an orderly exit. We regret this step, but it is reality and we now have to find a good solution.”

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