May Said to Pull Parliament Vote on Her Deal: Brexit Update

(Bloomberg) -- Read the full story on why Theresa May decided to pull the crucial vote in Parliament.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has called off a crucial vote in Parliament on whether to approve her Brexit deal, after being warned she was on course for a devastating defeat, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Key Developments

  • May said to pull key vote on Brexit deal
  • Top EU court ruled the U.K. can unilaterally revoke Brexit Article 50; government responded immediately it has no intention of doing so
  • Environment Secretary Michael Gove said May is seeking last-minute changes to Brexit deal; May spoke to key EU leaders over the weekend

May Said to Pull Parliament Vote on Her Deal (11:30 a.m.)

The vote in the House of Commons to approve the terms of the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union was due to be held on Tuesday evening but will now be rescheduled, according to a person familiar with the matter.

May’s office publicly insisting it was going ahead as recently as 11.20 a.m. on Monday but the prospect of an overwhelming revolt from members of Parliament forced the premier to think again.

May Said to Plan Call at 11:30 a.m. (11 a.m.)

May will hold a conference call with Cabinet ministers at 11:30 a.m. on her plans for the meaningful vote in Parliament, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Government: ‘Firm Policy’ to Leave EU (9:15 a.m.)

“The British people gave a clear instruction to leave, and we are delivering on that instruction,” a government spokesman said in response to the ECJ ruling on revoking Article 50. It’s the government’s “firm policy” that Article 50 will not be revoked, the spokesman said.

The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg said Britain is free to revoke its so-called Article 50 notice any time before it’s due to leave the bloc on March 29. The decision can’t be appealed. The landmark ruling will likely fuel the campaign in the U.K. to thwart Brexit.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said it wouldn’t change the government’s position. “This case is all very well but it doesn’t alter either the referendum vote or the very clear intention of the government to make sure that we leave on March 29,” he told BBC Radio. “We don’t want to stay in the EU.”

Gove: Vote Going Ahead on Tuesday (8:40 a.m.)

Environment Secretary Michael Gove stuck to the government’s line from Sunday that the meaningful vote will go ahead in Parliament as planned on Tuesday, giving an emphatic “yes” when asked in a BBC radio interview. He said May can “absolutely” win the vote, and that even if she loses, she’s best-placed to improve on her Brexit deal.

“Of course we can improve this deal and the prime minister is seeking to improve this deal,” Gove said. “The prime minister is better placed than anyone to get any changes or any improvements to the overall package.”

Asked about speculation he might run for the party leadership, he said it’s “extremely unlikely” and said talk about leadership is a “distraction.”

Earlier:

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