May's govt suffers defeat over no-deal tax powers

Dominic Grieve

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a delayed parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, January 15, the BBC reported on Monday, citing government sources.

The Commons amendment, tabled by Labour's Yvette Cooper, is created to limit the Treasury's ability to spend money implementing a no-deal exit, including raising certain taxes, without the explicit consent of Parliament.

Her proposal is aimed at restricting the Government's freedom to use the Bill to make tax changes linked to a no-deal Brexit without the "explicit consent" of Parliament.

Mrs May was forced to pull the vote on her deal in December after she said it would be defeated by a large majority.

But Mr Corbyn hailed the development as an "important step" to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The European Commission repeated on Monday that EU leaders would not renegotiate the Brexit deal agreed with May, who said she was seeking further assurances from Brussels on the deal. "That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in parliament to prevent no deal".

The U.K. Labour party may face an electoral wipeout if its members of Parliament back Theresa May's Brexit deal, rather than a second referendum on European Union membership. She said she's "still working on" that but confirmed the delayed vote will go ahead as planned, around January 15.

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

Backers of the amendment concede that it can not, in and of itself, stop a no-deal Brexit from occurring.

Also on Monday, the United Kingdom government trialled Operation Brock in Kent, a plan supposedly created to reduce congestion and border disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The move is meant to help limit the scale of opposition to the vote while buying time as negotiations continue with European Union leaders.

Brexit minister Martin Callanan told reporters in Brussels that May's government was not going to seek an extension to the countdown despite calls from some British politicians for a brake on the chaotic and uncertain Brexit process.

The vote in the House of Commons illustrated the substantial opposition to the real possibility of Britain withdrawing from the European Union on March 29 without a divorce agreement in place on the terms of its relationship with the remaining members.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told cabinet colleagues that critics holding out for a better deal were like swingers in their mid-50s waiting for Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson to turn up on a date.

"I don't think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament".

"I'm anxious we could come to the crunch and parliament will not have the powers to stop [no deal] happening", she said.

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

"The closer we get to 29 March without a deal, the more assets will be transferred and headcount hired locally or relocated", Omar Ali, UK financial services leader at EY, said.

But, a majority of lawmakers from across the political spectrum opposed to a no-deal exit have now established their political significance and promised to keep making it harder for the government to leave without a deal.

Theresa May suffered a major backbench rebellion as MPs signalled their opposition to a no-deal Brexit by defeating the Government in the Commons.

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