Theresa May to MPs: Do your duty and back my Brexit deal

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionCorbyn PM's handling of Brexit negotiations

And they denied the split between outright opposition and abstentions revealed divisions within the ERG which could prove significant in March 12's meaningful vote on May's deal.

If the Government refuses to do so, Remain MPs could still try to force through a change in the law that would force ministers to delay Brexit to avoid no deal.

MPs voted 502-20 in support of an amendment proposed by opposition Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper that spelled out May's proposed timetable.

A motion from The Indepedent Group which would have voted on a second referendum immediately after Labour lost their vote on an alternative Brexit plan was rejected earlier in the day by the speaker after only a small number of MPs sponsored it.

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She added that any extension "would nearly certainly have to be a one-off, especially if we had not taken part of the European elections" and warned that "an extension can not take "no deal" off the table".

Mr Costa quit his position as an unpaid parliamentary aide in the Scotland Office, despite Home Secretary Sajid Javid saying he supported his proposal and Downing Street making clear that Mrs May does not oppose it.

Mrs May's U-turn threw a spotlight on the Labour leader, whose "constructive ambiguity" on Brexit has long frustrated those in his party who back a so-called People's Vote, and played a part in the defection of eight MPs to the new Independent Group last week.

The government backed the amendment.

"There wasn't a majority for the prime minister's deal and the Conservatives won't support Labour's alternative Brexit".

Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs on Monday defeat tonight would mean the choice facing Britain was a no deal Brexit or Mrs May's Tory Brexit - meaning a public vote was the only option.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the European Union would agree to extend the Brexit deadline beyond March 29 only if Britain justified such a request with a clear objective.

A Number 10 source said the South Leicestershire MP had breached a long-standing convention that members of the administration - including parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs) - can not table amendments to Government motions.

Labour's alternative Brexit plan, which aims to ensure that the United Kingdom joins a customs union with the EU after Brexit, was again defeated by MPs. "That's why Labour will put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit".

David Lammy MP said: "It's become clear today that there is no majority in the House for May's deal, but also that Labour's alternative plan can not command a majority either".

Owen Smith, who was sacked from the shadow cabinet for calling for a second referendum, told the Press Association: "Now that Labour's version of Brexit has been rejected by Parliament, I expect Jeremy Corbyn to throw his full weight behind campaigning for a public vote".

While that was widely expected, Labour had said this week that its failure would be the trigger for the main opposition party to pledge its support for a new referendum.

The Government also accepted Alberto Costa's amendment to protect the rights of United Kingdom citizens in the European Union and EU citizens rights in the UK. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said his removal "prolongs the anxiety and uncertainty that over five million people have faced for two-and-a-half years".



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