Five things we learned from the Brexit debate

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It followed a defeat on Tuesday when the Commons voted to undermine her preparations for a no-deal exit from the bloc.

In a twist, David Mundell yesterday intervened to suggest that the PM could in fact win next week's vote on her Brexit Plan but, if she did not, he raised the prospect that the same deal could be put again to MPs.

An alliance of governing Conservative and Opposition legislators has dealt Mrs May two defeats in as many days - symbolic setbacks that suggest a power shift from the executive to the legislature.

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "The government's decision to delay the meaningful vote has run down the clock and increased the risk of a no-deal Brexit".

Wednesday's vote means that May will have less than a week to produce an alternative plan-until Monday, January 21-for a vote by MPs.

If the government lose a no confidence motion, there will be a period of 14 days in which parties can seek to find an alternative working majority in parliament and a general election would be called if they fail to do so.

Immediately prior to today's crucial vote, the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, was forced to respond to over an hour of procedural questions from Tory MPs, most of whom were infuriated that the Speaker had allowed MPs a vote on the controversial amendment.

"We need to come together, we need to do a deal".

The vote, which saw 20 legislators from Mrs May's Conservative Party rebel and side with the Opposition, indicates that a majority in Parliament opposes leaving the European Union without an agreement and will try to stop it happening.

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Under the EU's backstop proposal, Northern Ireland would have stayed in the single market and customs union while the rest of the United Kingdom withdraws, while Mrs May wanted Northern Ireland treated the same as the rest of the UK. Their hope would then be for enough opposition Labour lawmakers to back May's deal. "These discussions have shown that further clarification over the backstop is possible and those talks will continue over the next few days", May said.

The comments came as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was set to say that a general election is the most "practical and democratic" way to "break the deadlock" in the Commons over Brexit.

But he remained optimistic about Prime Minister Theresa May getting her withdrawal agreement through parliament, touting two MPs who had changed their mind and will now support it.

With just fewer than 80 days until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, time is running out to secure an agreement and avoid what businesses and pro-European politicians fear will be a costly no-deal exit.

But there is no clear majority for any single alternate course.

Britain faces a fresh food bottleneck if it drops out of the European Union without a deal, the country's largest supermarket group warned.

Corbyn has said he will seek a vote of no confidence in the government if it loses next week's Brexit vote, which could force fresh elections. With the United Kingdom set to exit the United Kingdom in less than 80 days, legislation passed previously allowed her three weeks to come up with another Brexit plan.

He also refused to answer a direct question as to whether he would resign rather than see no deal, saying: "I would always work and fight to make sure that the policy of the Government is to have a good deal, to avoid what I think would be a disaster which would be no deal".

He said: "It is a matter for the representative and champion of Parliament, it is not a matter for a representative of the executive branch - who is the executive's representative in the chamber of the House of Commons".

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