Labour Vows Confidence Vote as May Faces Defeat: Brexit Update

Andrew Atkinson
May Pleads for Support as Humiliating Defeat Over Brexit Looms

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Lawmakers are set this week to reject the Brexit deal Theresa May agreed with the European Union, plunging Britain deeper into crisis with less than 11 weeks remaining before Britain is due to leave the bloc.

Writing in the Sunday Express newspaper, the prime minster made a last-ditch appeal, warning that defeat for the government on Tuesday would amount to a “catastrophic and unforgivable breach of trust in our democracy.”

Key developments

MPs ready to seize control of negotiations, Sunday Times reportsSenior British ministers said to be urging May to seek help from Labour Speculation is mounting that Brexit day could be postponed to avoid no-deal

Minister Takes Aim at Brexit Purists (11:28 a.m.)

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay warned that Brexiteers seeking “ideological purity” are in danger of seeing Britain not leave the EU at all.

“They are leaving the door ajar to ways that increase the risk to Brexit,” he told the Andrew Marr Show.

But he indicated May is not ready junk her deal if it’s rejected. Asked about a Brexit Plan B, Barclay said he “strongly suspects” the House of Commons will end up voting for “something along the lines” of the current deal.

Labour is Ready to Table a No-Confidence Vote (10:50 a.m.)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn indicated his party would table a no-confidence vote in the government within days of May’s deal being defeated in Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking on BBC Television’s Andrew Marr Show, Corbyn said Labour will call a vote “at a time of our choosing” but it will be “soon.”

The problem for Corbyn, who wants a general election, is that his chances of winning a confidence vote are slim as he’d have to gain the support of Tory MPs, as well the Northern Irish lawmakers who prop up the government, who fear Labour gaining power.

If a confidence vote failed, he’d be under pressure to back a second Brexit referendum, which would open deep divisions in the Labour Party, many of whose supporters backed leaving the EU in 2016. He told Marr he’d rather get a negotiated deal to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would be “catastrophic” for industry and trade. “We will do everything we can to prevent a no-deal exit.”

What You Need to Know as Brexit Deadline Nears: QuickTake


Labour MPs Told to Ready for U.K. Confidence Vote: Observer Ministers Tell May to Ask Corbyn for Help When Brexit Deal DiesWar-Gaming the Pound on Brexit Vote Suggests More Wild RidesScale of May’s Likely Brexit Defeat Will Guide EU’s Next StepsHow Businesses Are Preparing for Brexit, Deal or No Deal

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at, Steve Geimann

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