Politics

Theresa May takes BATTERING as PM loses three crunch Brexit votes in 63 MINUTES

The Prime Minister appeared before MPs to begin five days of debate on her Brexit deal shortly after bowing to demands to publish the "final and full" legal advice given to Cabinet.

Mrs May's government had been was forced to reveal the legal secrets of the deal, was then found in contempt of Parliament in a historic first, before it was then voted through the MPs will seize control of the negotiations from Brexit if she fails to push her deal through the Commons.

Tory rebels, Labour, the Lib Dems and even the PM's key allies the DUP have all raged against the deal which has been accused of satisfying neither leavers nor remainders.

Highly sensitive advice provided by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will be published, in contravention of long-standing practice, following the hat-trick of defeats – with ministers expected to set out tomorrow how this will be done.

Despite fighting off critics on all side, Mrs May began the debate as she promised her plan is the "the very best deal for the British people" and backed it "with my whole heart".

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“This Government is not taking back control, it is losing control”

Jeremy Corbyn

MPs backed a move that could put Parliament in the driving seat if the deal is rejected on December 11.

The vote gave Commons the power to amend a motion that Mrs May would be required to make within the following 21 days to set out the Government's next steps.

Some 26 Tory MPs – including former ministers Sir Michael Fallon, Damian Green and Sir Oliver Letwin – rebelled on the amendment tabled by ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve.

This could open the door for the Commons to throw its weight behind a Norway-style soft or even a second EU referendum, though prominent Leave-backing MPs questioned whether any such vote would be binding on ministers.

Theresa May

THERESA MAY: The PM is fighting off challenges from all sides over Brexit (Pic: PA)

Labour's shadow secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the finding of contempt was "a badge of shame" for the Government, with "huge constitutional and political significance".

"By treating Parliament with contempt, the Government has proved it has lost its majority and the respect of the House," Sir Keir said.

"The Prime Minister can't keep pushing Parliament away or avoiding responsible scrutiny."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable repeated calls for a second EU referendum, saying: "Theresa May's majority has evaporated and the credibility of her deal is evaporating with it."

Jeremy Corbyn

LABOUR: Jeremy Corbyn said Theresa May has Britain over a 'barrel' (Pic: PA) Related Articles

Boris Johnson

HARD BREXIT: Boris Johnson called for MPs to rebel against Theresa May (Pic: PA)

Mrs May was jeered by opposition MPs as she said it would not be in the "national interest" to block the Government's agreement with the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the PM's suggestion however and said the deal had put the country "over a barrel".

Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister had achieved something "extraordinary" with her Brexit deal by uniting huge swathes of the House against her – both leavers and remainers.

He added: "This Government is not taking back control, it is losing control."

"We are over barrel, either paying whatever is demanded or negotiating away fishing rights, who knows what else? This is a terrible failure of negotiation by this Government."

Brexit

PROTESTS: Brexit demonstrators gather outside Westminster (Pic: PA)

Tory rebel Boris Johnson was heckled by fellow Tory MPs as he claimed the EU risks keeping the UK in "permanent captivity" to warn others about trying to leave.

Divisions among the Tory benches were laid bare for all to see in the Commons as the former foreign secretary urged colleagues to reject the Brexit deal and claimed Brussels "think they've got us beat".

Mr Johnson said he could not believe there is a single MP who "sincerely believes this deal before us is a good deal"

He labelled the PM's plan "psuedo Brexit" and said: "The Government's heart has not appeared to be in this deal and I think listening to those who are sent out to defend it and to explain it, they know it is a democratic disaster."

Theresa May

PRIME MINISTER: Theresa May's future as PM is now tied to Brexit (Pic: PA)

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable repeated calls for a second EU referendum, saying: "Theresa May's majority has evaporated and the credibility of her deal is evaporating with it."

Asked if Mrs May still felt she could command a majority in the Commons for the crunch vote next Tuesday, a Downing Street source said: "Everybody knows the parliamentary arithmetic.

"The fact is, during the course of this administration we have won the overwhelming majority of votes that have taken place on the floor of the House of Commons."

Meanwhile outside of Westminster, Brexiteer-in-chief Nigel Farage sensationally quit UKIP – claiming the party is no longer fit to champion Brexit due to links with right-wing activists like Tommy Robinson.

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