Brexit: Theresa May 'to delay Commons vote on deal'

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Theresa May will delay a Commons vote tomorrow on her Brexit deal to avoid a likely heavy defeat, according to reports.

The Prime Minister will make a statement to MPs at 3.30pm on Monday during what was to be the penultimate day of debate on her Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May

An emergency meeting of her cabinet was convened by telephone conference at 11.30am this morning, ahead of which a Downing Street spokeswoman insisted the vote would take place as normal on Tuesday.

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However, with more than 100 Conservative MPs saying they oppose the Prime Minsiter's deal, the government was facing a likely motion of no confidence by Labour in the aftermath of a humiliating defeat.

The pound fell to its lowest level in 18 months against the US dollar on news the vote was set to be delayed.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the government had taken a "desperate step" because "Theresa May's Brexit deal is so disastrous".

Mr Corbyn said: "We have known for at least two weeks that Theresa May’s worst of all worlds deal was going to be rejected by Parliament because it is damaging for Britain.

"Instead, she ploughed ahead when she should have gone back to Brussels to renegotiate or called an election so the public could elect a new government that could do so.

“We don't have a functioning government.

"Labour’s alternative plan for a jobs first deal must take centre stage in any future talks with Brussels.”

Brexiteers also reacted to the news with anger, with Steve Baker, who helped orchestrate an attempted coup against Mrs May last month, saying: "This is essentially a defeat of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

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"The terms of the WA were so bad that they didn’t dare put it to Parliament for a vote. This isn’t the mark of a stable government or a strong plan."

Another Tory Brexiteer, James Dudderidge, suggested MPs could stop the Prime Minister from pulling the vote off the Commons agenda.

"The PM does not get to pull a vote," he posted on twitter. "The House will have to vote to pull a vote. I will oppose. We need to see this deal off once and for all."