Theresa May
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PM Theresa May makes a statement to the House of Commons ahead of Brexit vote next week.
The Prime Minister is set to resist pressure from Cabinet ministers and order her MPs to vote against moves to stop a No Deal Brexit.

The Commons will vote on a series of proposals on Tuesday that could radically change the course of Brexit - including delaying the UK's departure from the EU.

Theresa May has been warned by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd that dozens of ministers who fear a No Deal 'cliff edge' could quit if they are blocked from joining efforts to postpone the leaving date.

Yesterday groups of MPs determined to stop No Deal tabled a string of amendments which could wrestle control over Brexit from the Government. But Mrs May will resist the moves and instead focus on efforts to secure changes to the Irish 'backstop' - designed to prevent a hard border in Ireland if trade talks falter - with the hope of trying to get an amended version of her deal through.

No final decision has been made by No10, but sources said Chief Whip Julian Smith is keen to order MPs not to back the amendments. The source said: 'The chief's instincts are that we have to oppose these things. A final decision we'll make nearer the day.'
Javid, Williamson, Rudd, Grieve, Cooper
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Home Sec Sajid Javid • Defense Sed Gavin Williamson • Work Pensions Sec Amber Rudd • MP Dominic Grieve • MP Yvette Cooper

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged Mrs May at yesterday's Cabinet meeting to try and secure parliamentary support for a time-limit on the Irish backstop. Yesterday one minister broke ranks by publicly calling on the PM to give MPs a free vote on the next steps for Brexit. Solicitor General Robert Buckland warned that efforts to seize control of Parliamentary process could succeed and cause 'chaos'.

He told Sky News: 'The grim reality is that if we don't sort this out within the next week, then things could go out of control, that Parliament could start asserting its authority in the way that we have seen and that means more chaos.'

Miss Rudd also faced a backlash at Cabinet over her calls for a free vote. Mr Hunt, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss and Environment Secretary Michael Gove all warned it would amount to 'abdicating collective responsibility'.

One Cabinet source said ministers 'piled in' against the idea.

Eight amendments have been tabled in recent days. One, proposed by Labour's Yvette Cooper, would take away from ministers the power to propose legislation. Another, tabled by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, would give Parliament powers to set the agenda and vote on a range of proposals, including a second referendum. Tory MP Andrew Murrison, the chairman of the Northern Ireland select committee, also published an amendment yesterday that insists on an expiry date for the Irish backstop. He said it was 'likely to appeal to moderate MPs who just want Brexit sorted'.

MPs will vote on a series of proposals on Tuesday that could dramatically alter the course of Brexit. Associate Editor JACK DOYLE examines them.


WHAT IT DOES: Designed to let Parliament stop a No Deal by forcing ministers to extend Article 50.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Cross party MPs led by Labour's Yvette Cooper and former Tory ministers Nick Boles and Sir Oliver Letwin.

HOW IT WOULD WORK: Ministers would lose the power to decide what was debated in the Commons on February 5. Control would pass to a group of MPs from different parties. Miss Cooper would then introduce a draft law which would require Mrs May to ask the EU to postpone Brexit by nine months if no deal is agreed by February 26.

COULD IT SUCCEED? In theory, yes. Preventing No Deal is the one thing a majority of MPs agree on. There is widespread support in Labour benches and among several dozen Tories. But getting the law to delay Article 50 on to the statute book would not be straightforward.


WHAT IT DOES: Give control over Parliamentary business to MPs.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Dominic Grieve QC, former Attorney General and ardent Remainer. Also backed by Labour and Tory MPs who back a second referendum.

HOW IT WOULD WORK: The Government would lose power over the Commons every Tuesday from February 12 to March 26. MPs would be able to propose and vote on any motion relating to Brexit. Although the decisions would not be binding, ministers would be under huge pressure to accede to Parliament's demands. This could open the door to delaying Article 50, changing the deal to include a customs union and even a second referendum.

COULD IT SUCCEED? If supported by Labour, it could pass with the support of pro-Remain Tories.


WHAT IT DOES: Demands changes to the deal and hints at a second referendum.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour frontbench.

HOW IT WOULD WORK: Requires ministers to provide time for Parliament to discuss how to stop No Deal, and proposes a permanent customs union. If that fails, it suggests a second referendum.

COULD IT SUCCEED? Highly unlikely, because it won't win support from Tory rebels.


WHAT IT DOES: Demands an end date to the Irish backstop.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Northern Ireland select committee chairman Andrew Murrison.

HOW IT WOULD WORK: If MPs voted for the amendment, they argue, it would give Theresa May something to take to Brussels to demand concessions. She may not get an end date, but if there is movement from the EU it could help her win back the DUP and Tory rebels who voted against the deal last week.

COULD IT SUCCEED? It could, but only with support from the Government and the DUP.


WHAT IT DOES: Rejects leaving without a deal.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Tory former Cabinet minister Caroline Spelman and Labour MP Jack Dromey.

HOW IT WOULD WORK: A very straightforward motion which rejects No Deal. It would put huge pressure on Mrs May to make sure No Deal does not happen.

COULD IT SUCCEED? Yes, if enough Tory rebels vote in favour. It is not legally binding, so in theory ministers could ignore it.