MPs Vote To Take Control Of Brexit Process From Theresa May

25 March 2019, 22:27 | Updated: 25 March 2019, 22:56

Theresa May suffered a heavy defeat on Monday night
Theresa May suffered a heavy defeat on Monday night. Picture: PA

MPs have seized control of the Brexit agenda from Theresa May, potentially paving the way for a softer deal with the EU.

A cross-party amendment, put forward by Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, passed by 329 votes to 302.

It means MPs will now stage a series of "indicative votes" on alternatives to the Prime Minister's Brexit deal on Wednesday.

In total, 30 Tory MPs defied the whip to vote for the amendment.

Among those were pro-EU ministers Richard Harrington and Alistair Burt, who quit the government to back it.

Richard Harrington resigned as Business minister to vote for the amendment
Richard Harrington resigned as Business minister to vote for the amendment. Picture: PA

- Explained: What Are Indicative Votes And Can It Break The Brexit Deadlock?

Mr Harrington accused the Government of "playing roulette" with the lives and livelihoods of the people of Britain in its handling of Brexit.

“I fear that no deal would be part of a giant economic experiment that is championed by a small minority of the economics profession, a small minority of the Conservative Party, and a small minority of the country,” he wrote in his letter to the Prime Minister.

Health minister Steve Brine also resigned.

Meanwhile, MPs narrowly rejected a backbench amendment to allow the Commons to have a vote if the UK is seven days away from leaving the EU without a deal by 314 votes to 311, majority three.

Labour's amendment was not put to a vote.

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