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Labour leader Corbyn to ask UK PM about progress in Brexit talks

16 March 2019

Wordsworth's dancing daffodils do look golden in Downing Street but inside Number 10, where Britain's embattled Prime Minister is holed up nursing a sore throat after non-stop negotiations with Brussels over her Brexit deal, the mood is anything but sunny.

Should MPs vote against a no-deal Brexit, then they will return to the Commons tomorrow to decide whether Article 50 should be extended.

Paul Masterton resigned as a Home Office ministerial aide in order to vote for the motion rejecting a no-deal Brexit.

"I assume that among the (EU) heads of government there is the unanimous view that it makes sense to avoid a no-deal scenario, a so-called hard Brexit".

Under a temporary scheme 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access - up from 80% at present.

On Wednesday morning the government announced that most imports into the United Kingdom would not attract a tariff in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Another 18 Labour MPs voted against the amendment, highlighting the divisions in the Labour party.

The Chancellor is said to have pushed.

The decision to drop all checks to avoid friction at the UK's land border with the European Union will be temporary while longer term solutions are negotiated.

He also pledged that his party would vote against a no-deal Brexit outcome in Wednesday's vote and signalled that he would continue to press for a customs union with the 28-member European Union.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told BBC News Parliament would increasingly "set the agenda" if the government was not in control of events.

The PM had made a last-minute plea to MPs to back her deal after she had secured legal assurances on the Irish backstop from the European Union during late-night talks in Strasbourg on Monday.

The opposition will initially focus on opposing no deal - which is expected to be defeated on Wednesday - and believes that an extension to the March 29 deadline is inevitable because more time is needed to negotiate an alternative, the Guardian reported. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal. It wasn't as bad as the 230 vote defeat on January 16 - the biggest in British parliamentary history - but still pretty devastating.

May responded: "The deal that he's proposing has been rejected several times by this house".

Leading Tory Remainers and Brexiteers, including Dominic Grieve and Boris Johnson, have suggested the prime minister's deal is now "finished" and other options must be brought forward.

She said: "I'm grateful... for the spirit in which they have sought to broker compromise in this House".

Labour leader Corbyn to ask UK PM about progress in Brexit talks