A cross-party group of MPs has set out plans to prevent Britain leaving the EU in an “accidental” no-deal Brexit.
The group, including Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Conservative former ministers Sir Oliver Letwin and Nicholas Boles, say they are ready to seek backing for a bill requiring crucial decisions to be taken by the middle of March at the latest.
Theresa May said on Tuesday she will make a fresh Commons statement on the Brexit talks on February 26 and table an amendable motion to be debated and voted on by MPs the following day.
The group say that if at that point there is no deal, they will put down an amendment creating parliamentary time for a bill requiring the Prime Minister and Parliament to decide by mid-March whether the UK is leaving with a deal, without a deal or whether it will seek an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.
Ms Cooper said: “This bill creates a Parliamentary safeguard to prevent us drifting into no-deal by accident, and to prevent those crucial decisions being left until the final fortnight.”
Sir Oliver added: “Any MP who genuinely wants to prevent an under-prepared no-deal Brexit will need to vote for this bill at the end of February. It is the only way of giving the House of Commons the time to produce a consensus about a positive way forward if the PM cannot get her deal through by mid-March.”