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Dutch PM rules out Brexit rejig if May loses

Dutch PM rules out Brexit rejig if May loses

The chances are remote, but a legal battle that will play out today in parliament is potentially highly damaging for May, at a time when she is at her most vulnerable politically.

Labour could also try to cobble together a coalition with other parties, but now this looks impossible.

But parliamentarians have argued the government is required to release the full advice - including Cox's legal opinion - following a unanimous binding vote last month.

Opposition parties and a small Northern Irish party which props up May's minority government have said they plan to reject the deal when parliament votes on it on December 11.

A DUP source ominously briefed The Times this morning that the party would not feel obliged to back the Prime Minister, claiming the Conservatives would have breached their end of the "confidence and supply" deal by ploughing ahead with the backstop.

Defeat could topple the prime minister or her government.

He insisted the agreement delivered on the 2016 referendum result by bringing "a complete end" to European Union free movement in the United Kingdom - although he conceded it was "very unlikely" MPs would see the details of what the UK's post-Brexit immigration system might look like before they vote, as the plans were still be worked through.

"I reflected long and hard about this deal but I concluded, like lots of people, that while it is imperfect it is the right thing to do", he told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show.

What Are They Going To Do?




May herself has stuck rigidly to the line that she can win the parliamentary vote, and refused to tell reporters traveling with her to Buenos Aires whether she had a plan B. She's counting on the support of foreign leaders to buttress her case, with a message that rejection of the deal would put voters' jobs at risk.

"It does not comply with a motion of the House that you have ruled to be effective". If passed, the decision would pass to the committee of privileges, which would agree on a punishment if it decided contempt had occurred, which MPs would then need to approve.

In theory, the most severe penalty is expulsion from the House, although the prospects of that happening would appear remote.

Lesser punishments include a fine, or imprisonment in a regular jail.

Number 10 has been holding back detailed legal advice provided by attorney-general Geoffrey Cox on May's withdrawal agreement.

"Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks."

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the European Union, direct from Business Insider's political reporters.

May began to answer: "I'm very clear that as Prime Minister I've got a duty to deliver..."

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