Brexit: May at risk of fresh defeat as MPs debate withdrawal agreement for third time - live news

29 March 2019
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Dominic Raab is speaking in the debate now.He says he resigned at the end of last year because he opposed the PM’s deal. And he still thinks it is a bad

deal.

But the government has effectively taken no-deal off the table, he says. It has not ruled out a further, long extension of article 50. This could lead to the UK ending up staying in the single market.

But he says MPs need to proceed with realism.

There is a choice between a risk of being trapped in the backstop, and a significant risk of not happening.

He says the UK is left with these choices because of the flawed decisions taken by the government.

This is not a third meaningful vote, he says. But it has significant legal and practical implications. It is necessary to get the extension until 22 May. It is necessary to avoid the UK having to hold European elections, he says.

John Baron, the Tory Brexiter, intervenes. Urging Raab not to change his mind, he says MPs must make a decision based on the facts available, not on what might happen in the future. This is a bad deal, Baron says.

Raab says there is a balance of risk. He cannot countenance a longer article 50 extension, or the UK taking part in European elections.

He says the government should use the extra time available to get an exchange of letters with the EU giving effect to the Brady amendment.

When MPs says the EU won’t accept legally-binding changes to the backstop, he says it is always assumed that the EU will hold firm, but that the UK must compromise. That mindset got us into this problem in the first place, he says.

He says he is voting for the motion, but without prejudice to his position on the next meaningful vote.

Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab Photograph: HoC

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