Brexit: Theresa May confirms date of meaningful vote

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed the 'meaningful vote' on Brexit will be held on December 11.

She said: “I’m looking ahead to December 11th, when this House will be faced with a decision as to whether or not it wishes to deliver on the vote of the British people with a deal that not only delivers on that vote but also protects their jobs.”

Mrs May made the announcement in her third statement to the Commons on leaving the EU, after two hours of questions from MPs on Brexit.

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It came just after Chief Whip Julian Smith sent out advanced notice of votes expected in the first two weeks of December, setting out five days of debate in the run-up to the vote, starting next week.

Mrs May made the announcement in her third statement to the Commons on leaving the EU. Picture: PA

Mr Smith sought to spread some Christmas cheer to Conservatives feeling frosty towards Mrs May’s deal in the letter, wishing MPs and their families “a very happy Christmas” and thanking them for their support this year.

His letter, obtained by Business Insider journalist Adam Payne, sets out a timetable for the “meaningful vote” running from December 4-6, picking up again on December 10 and finishing with the vote on Tuesday.

However, there was wavering on the opposition benches, with Labour MP Caroline Flint, who had previously indicated she would vote for Mrs May’s deal if the only alternative was no deal.

Ms Flint (Don Valley) urged Mrs May to have a “meaningful discussion” with Jeremy Corbyn.

She said: “The Prime Minister has made it very clear that at all costs she wants to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

“Jeremy Corbyn has also reassured Labour MPs that his priority is to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

“Given there are some 80 Conservative backbenchers who will vote against any deal come what may, in the national interest will the Prime Minister sit down with the leader of the Opposition and have a meaningful discussion about how we can make sure that, when it comes to workers’ rights, health and safety, we don’t fall behind and we secure a sustainable customs arrangement?”

Mrs May said the deal would deliver on jobs, but queried Mr Corbyn’s commitment to a deal.

She said: “I’m interested she has indicated Jeremy Corbyn is clear we should leave the EU with a deal as previously he had indicated he would vote against any deal the Government brought forward.”