Theresa May faces fresh Commons ambush as Brexit deal debate resumes
Theresa May is facing a fresh ambush from Tory rebels as MPs gear up to debate her controversial Brexit deal for the second time.
A cross-party Commons amendment tabled by Dominic Grieve and backed by several other Conservatives would force the Prime Minister to come back to Parliament after three sitting days if she loses next Tuesday's meaningful vote.
Currently, Mrs May would have 21 days to respond to the House and a further seven days before a vote would have to be held.
The amendment quickly drew support from pro-EU MPs from across the political divide, including top Tories Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson.
The bid was launched shortly after the Prime Minister suffered yet another humiliating Commons defeat last night as MPs showed there is a parliamentary majority against a no-deal Brexit.
In the first government defeat on the Finance Bill since 1978, MPs voted to limit the Treasury's powers to raise taxes if the UK quits the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place.
Five more days of debate on Mrs May's Brexit deal will begin this afternoon ahead of next week's crunch vote, which most observers expect the Government to lose.
Closing today's debate, David Lidington, the de-facto deputy prime minister, will tell MPs the Government hopes to “safeguard the interests of the people and businesses of Northern Ireland, and respond to some of the concerns that have been raised”.
A new paper detailing proposals will include “a Stormont lock on new areas of law, providing a legal guarantee that no new areas of law can apply to Northern Ireland under the backstop over the heads of the Northern Ireland Assembly".