A government motion seeking to endorse changes to the backstop, but appearing to consider an Article 50 extension against No Deal, has been rejected by MPs.
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The motion stated that Parliament “reiterates its support for the approach to leaving the EU expressed by this House on 29 January 2019”. But that included a vote by MPs against a No Deal Brexit. Pro-Leave Tory MPs had hinted that they would therefore abstain.
The vote went 303 to 258 against the government.
Tory Brexiteer Mark Francois had warned: “We cannot vote for this as it is currently configured because it rules out No Deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels.
“The Prime Minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months (No Deal still on table). It is madness.”