Britain ‘heading for General Election’ because it could be only way to break Brexit deadlock

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BRITAIN could be on course for a snap General Election after the Brexit chaos deepened last night.

Remainer MPs grabbed control of the Government and won the right to decide what they want to happen next.

Theresa May could be forced to call a snap General Election
UK PARLIAMENT

Ministers are now openly discussing the possibility of dissolving Parliament and heading for an early election.

They fear that will be the only way to break the deadlock and find a majority of MPs who can get behind a solution to Brexit.

The Cabinet yesterday debated the possibility of holding a third election within four years.

Andrea Leadsom and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay both warned that if the PM doesn’t get her deal through the Commons soon, an election will become inevitable.

Ministers fear that if Theresa May doesn’t take the initative, Jeremy Corbyn could replace her in No10 within weeks.

A source told the Daily Mail: “We’ll either lose a confidence vote – in which case you could even get Corbyn without an election – or we will be forced to go for an election ourselves.”

Another insider added: “It’s not just scaremongering, it’s the only way out of this.”

The PM has also fallen out with her DUP allies – crucial to upholding her majority in Parliament.

GOING SOFT

Tomorrow MPs will stage “indicative votes” on a range of different Brexit outcomes as Mrs May’s deal continues to struggle for support.

It comes after 30 Tory MPs – including three ministers – defied the PM and voted to take control of the Commons timetable late last night.

In another hint an election could be close, Mrs Leadsom warned this morning that the Government may not be able to carry out the will of Parliament because MPs could back an impossible solution.

She said: “Parliament will set out its views, and as Government we can’t necessarily deliver on it.”

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock sought to dampen election speculation, saying: “We need to get on and deliver on Brexit and a General Election would only delay things further.”

MPs backed Oliver Letwin’s amendment by 329 votes to 302 in a serious blow to the PM’s authority.

It will mean that wounded Mrs May is forced to hand over control of the order paper to them on Wednesday to try and work out a way forward.

Brexiteer Suella Braverman told BBC Newsnight: “Tonight we’ve seen a Parliamentary massacre.”

Priti Patel said it was another example of the political class “promising one thing and delivering another”.

“Trust in politics is broken,” she said.

And almost immediately MPs who want a second referendum called yet again for Parliament to overturn the result of the historic 2016 referendum vote.

Trust in politics is broken


Priti Patel

A spokesman for the Brexit department said it was “disappointing” to see the amendment pass, and pleaded with MPs to come to a realistic outcome when the Commons debates the way forward in just two days time.

They added: “This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.

“While it is now up to Parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the Government will continue to call for realism – any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU.

“Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take, and if they’d require a longer extension which would mean holding European Parliamentary elections.”

Jeremy Corbyn congratulated the House of Commons for taking control off the PM and throwing Parliament into more chaos, and said: “Where this government has failed this House has and must, succeed.”

MPs could end up forcing through a second referendum or even try to reverse Brexit altogether.

Alternative Brexit options are expected to include a number of softer options including:

  • Staying in the customs union
  • A second Brexit referendum
  • Revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit
  • A Canada-style trade deal
  • Common market deal by staying in the single market (similar to the European Economic Area)

But any softer Brexit option risks destroying the Conservative party.

What does tonight's Parliament vote really mean?

FOR the first time in more than a hundred years the Government won’t be controlling what happens in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Tonight MPs voted to withdraw an obscure procedure from them and hand back control to MPs.

Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment, which passed and then was later confirmed in two crushing defeats for the PM, will let MPs have a say on what kind of Brexit they want to see.

It will mean that there can be a series of votes on Wednesday on other options aside from Mrs May’s deal – on anything MPs want.

The Speaker has a considerable amount of power in this situation, according to Sir Oliver’s plan.

He will choose what motions to be put forward and lead MPs to vote on their preferred Brexit options.

But his plan doesn’t force the Government to actually take on board whatever MPs say they want.

It will instead put it forward “with a view to the Government putting forward a plan for the House to debate and vote on” in future.

Mrs May had argued she would give MPs the time to do this on her terms, but her promises were not enough to persuade dozens of Tories to defy her tonight.


The PM is still planning to bring her deal back to the Commons for a third time, possibly after showing Brexiteers what the risk would be in an attempt to force them to vote for her deal.

But there’s not enough support to bring it back “as things stand” at the moment.

Yesterday Tory MPs called for her to step down, even if she does get her deal through Parliament in the next few days.

The Commons voted last night to take control of Brexit
PA:Press Association

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