Sci-tech

Brexit : Britain Tests Lorry Park To Prepare For Possible Queues

Brexit : Britain Tests Lorry Park To Prepare For Possible Queues

Britain's parliament has dealt Prime Minister Theresa May's government a narrow defeat by passing an amendment created to put roadblocks in place to make a "no-deal" Brexit more hard.

A parliamentary bid to block a no-deal Brexit was given a boost after Labour said it would whip MPs to support an amendment from backbencher Yvette Cooper, which would force the government to seek approval before making Brexit-related tax changes.

The 303 to 296 defeat highlights May's weak position as leader of a minority government, a divided party, and a critical parliament just days before she is due to hold a pivotal vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU.

Instead, its goal has been to galvanise MPs across the house and prove there is a parliamentary majority to oppose no deal, which they expect could grow when subsequent amendments are tabled to other bills, which could have wider-reaching consequences.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who turned round and applauded Cooper in the chamber as the defeat was announced, said: "This vote is an important step to prevent a no-deal Brexit".

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said history will take "a dim view" of the PM's Cabinet if it presses ahead with a no-deal Brexit if MPs vote against her agreement next week.

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Lawmakers are also taking legislative action to try to prevent "no deal".

It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May looks set to lose a crucial vote on a Brexit deal next week. "I am very hopeful that the deal will be voted through next week".

A source in Brussels told AFP several weeks ago that Britain has been discussing the possibility with European officials, and a junior British minister, Margot James, publicly voiced the idea on Monday. Fears about economic disruption Monday prompted roughly 200 legislators including some from the prime minister's Conservative Party to write to May asking her to rule out the no-deal scenario.

Although it would not affect the government directly before Brexit, it could be applied to other bills passing through Parliament.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said the European Union was "happy to give" the United Kingdom fresh assurances, telling the Irish Times: "We don't want to trap the United Kingdom into anything".

These assurances are set to be delivered to lawmakers before they vote, although not before they start their debate on Wednesday.

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More than 100 Tories vowed to join with Labour to defeat May's deal, prompting her to go back to Brussels to get guarantees the backstop would only ever be a temporary measure.

She told hospital workers in Liverpool there has been "some further movement" from the European Union but did not provide specifics. However, it is the duty of a responsible Government to continue to prepare for all eventualities and contingencies, including a possible no deal.

Extending the divorce beyond March 29 would require the unanimous agreement of EU heads of state and government in the European Council.

If Parliament rejects her Brexit deal on 15 January - as in all likelihood it will - some have urged that Mrs May should push immediately to delay the Article 50 exit process and stop the countdown.

"We have to face the world as we find it, not as we wish it to be, and we have to deal with the facts as we find them".

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