Theresa May calls for vote on Brexit deal in January

The debate on Theresa May’s Brexit deal will return to Parliament in the week commencing January 7 and the “meaningful vote” will take place the following week, the British prime minister has told the House of Commons. 

Mrs May told the Commons this afternoon: “It is now only just over 14 weeks until the UK leaves the EU and I know many members of this House are concerned that we need to take a decision soon.

“My right honourable friend the Leader of the House will set out business on Thursday in the usual way, but I can confirm today that we intend to return to the meaningful vote debate in the week commencing January 7 and hold the vote the following week.”

Theresa May said: “I know there are a range of very strongly-held personal views on this issue across the House and I respect all of them.

“But expressing our personal views is not what we are here to do. We asked the British people to take this decision.”

She added: “I know this is not everyone’s perfect deal. It is a compromise.

“But if we let the perfect be the enemy of the good, we risk leaving the EU with no deal.”

Mrs May stressed that the British government had prepared for a no-deal Brexit and “tomorrow the Cabinet will be discussing the next phase in ensuring we are ready for that scenario”.

The prime minister told MPs: “Avoiding ‘no deal’ is only possible if we can reach an agreement or if we abandon Brexit entirely.”

No other deal was going to “miraculously appear” if her agreement is rejected, she said.

And warning against a second referendum, she said it would “break faith with the British people” and do “irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics”.

No further meetings between the EU and the UK to discuss the Brexit deal are expected, the European Commission chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas has said.

He told a press conference in Brussels: “The deal that is on the table is the best and the only deal possible – we will not reopen it, it will not be renegotiated.

“As President Tusk said, the European Council has given the clarifications that were possible at this stage, so no further meetings with the United Kingdom are foreseen.

“On the EU side we have started the process of ratification and we will follow closely the ratification process in the United Kingdom.”

He added that talk of a second referendum was an “internal” matter for the UK and that the commission has “absolutely no comment on it”.

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