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No vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal before Christmas, Government says

2 min read

MPs will not be able to cast their verdict on Theresa May's Brexit deal before Christmas, the Government revealed today.

Ministers released the schedule of parliamentary business for next week - the last before the festive break - with no plans for the so-called 'meaningful vote'.

The crunch Commons showdown on the Prime Minister's deal had originally been scheduled for Tuesday this week - but Mrs May pulled it at the last minute in the face of certain defeat.

MPs have been demanding to know when they will get to have their say, but Mrs May has only said it will come by the 21 January next year.

The PM is racing to secure fresh changes to the so-called Northern Irish backstop from the EU before she puts her deal to a vote.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom today revealed the House business for next week, which contained no mention of the crunch Brexit clash.

That drew criticism from Labour, with opposition frontbencher Valerie Vaz blasting the fresh delay.

The Shadow Commons Leader said: "I don't know if I've heard properly: has the leader actually given all the business next week because I didn't hear when the debate on the meaningful vote will resume.

"It's obviously not listed for next week, so will it come back?"

Ms Vaz added: "Each week we stand her and we trust what the Leader says. We trust the agreements we make. How can we trust this government any more?"

Hitting back, Ms Leadsom said the Prime Minister understood that MPs needed "legally binding reassurances" on the controversial backstop proposal before casting their votes.

"Honourable members should rest assured that the Prime Minister is very much seeking to address the concerns that have been expressed by this House," she added.

The SNP's Pete Wishart said the move was symbolic of a "lame-duck prime minister".

A spokesperson for Theresa May said: "We will be guided by the pace at which we can get the reassurances Parliament needs."

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