Theresa May is on her way to Brussels after yesterday sparking outcry within the House of Commons over delaying the vote on the Brexit deal.
The ‘meaningful vote’ would’ve taken place today.
She reassured MPs that she had taken on board their concerns over escaping the Northern Irish ‘backstop’, a process which is said to lock the UK into an economic customs arrangement, intended to prevent a hard border with the EU.
The PM said that, ‘nothing is off the table’ but focused on seeking ‘assurances’ from EU leaders instead of the renegotiation MPs said the deal was in serious need of.
This is how the UK papers reacted…
The paper explains that the Prime Minister has not outlined when MPs will officially get to vote on the Brexit. She explained that she needed the ‘assurances’ from the EU before she could put the deal to a vote in the House of Commons. According to their sources, it looked more like likely that the vote would be postponed until the beginning of 2019 but this did not necessarily mean January.
Here's the moment Brighton Kemptown Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle is ejected from the House of Commons after picking up the ceremonial mace in protest at the Government's handling of Brexit. pic.twitter.com/lPVAy6dQ9F
— BBC Sussex (@BBCSussex) December 10, 2018
The paper also highlights the ejection from the Parliament of Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle. The MP is reported to have picked up and swung around the ceremonial mace which is used to open and close the Parliament. It is understood that his decision to do so was prompted by government whips formally deferring the vote. The Speaker of the House, John Bercow demanded he leave the chamber. The situation happens just after the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn won the chance to an emergency debate on the delayed vote.
The Guardian says that the delay on the vote until the new year, further reduces the time to ratify 585 pages of legislation on the UK’s departure, increasing the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
The paper also highlights that the Prime Minister is hoping to secure letters and guarantees that the backstop would only be a temporary measure, not leading to a permanent customs union with the EU. They explain that the Prime Minister’s office was unsure if it would be legally binding and therefore unclear if this would win over Tory and Democratic Union Parties who want the backstop to be trashed.
The Guardian also explains that Theresa May is on her way to meet key EU leaders ahead of a European Summit taking place on Thursday and Friday. May is meeting the Dutch Prime Minister in the Hague, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as EU commission president, Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. Mr Tusk has already made it clear to the PM that what can be discussed is limited.
Jack Doyle, Columnist for the Daily Mail, has said part of MP’s anger over the Irish backstop can be placed on French President Emmanuel Macron.
Doyle explains that with the riots ravaging Paris, the French President was diverting attention away from his own domestic issues by saying that the UK would have to capitulate on fishing rights or else remain locked into the Northern Ireland backstop. He says that a source told him, ‘It was backstop blackmail and we never recovered’. Doyle likens the move to a ‘Macron hand grenade’.
Sky News is devoting a live blog to Theresa May’s ‘mini European tour’.
Mark Stone reports that from an address by the EU Commissioner, Jean Claude Juncker, in Strasbourg, ‘There is no room whatsoever for further renegotiation… there’s room enough to give further clarification and further interpretations without opening the Withdrawal Agreement. This will not happen. Everyone has to know that the withdrawal agreement will not be renegotiated’.
Downing Street announces that the House of Commons will be asked to vote on the Brexit deal, before 21st January, Sky News reports.