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Brexit: Theresa May's strategy remains unchanged despite Tory's argument over the defeat

  Theresa May

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Theresa May sticks to her Brexit strategy, even though her party is rowing in the wake of her last Commons defeat.

MPs rejected their motion from 303 to 258, with 66 Tory MPs abstaining, whereupon a minister accused the Brexite rebels of "treason."

Steve Baker of the European rebel group that led the rebellion called her a "storm in a teacup".

The Prime Minister will return to Brussels "within days" after her Brexit secretary met the EU ambassadors in London on Friday.

Also, Steve Barclay will travel to Parliament on Monday for further talks with the EU's negotiator, Michel Barnier, to support an agreement to exit Britain from the bloc on March 29.

Ms. May tries to renegotiate the Irish "backstop" after MEPs voted earlier this month to replace it with "alternative regulations".

Some MEPs fear that the retention path ̵

1; the insurance policy to prevent the return of customs controls at the Irish border – will bind the UK to EU customs legislation in the long term.

Thursday's government motion urged MEPs to support their renegotiation strategy, but members of the ERG felt that support for the calls to exclude a no-deal Brexit meant that.

They say the option to leave the EU without a formal agreement offers a "bargaining chip" in Brussels. However, a majority of MPs believe that this would lead to chaos in the ports and massive disruption of the business.

The EU has consistently excluded changes to the backstop.

The recent defeat of the government has no legal force and Andrea Leadsom, chairman of the House of Commons, told the BBC's political correspondent Iain Watson that the Prime Minister would return to Brussels for talks in the coming days. "More a hiccup than the catastrophe that is being reported on. "

"[Mrs May] will continue to seek the legally binding changes that will allow Parliament to support our deal," she added.

Analysis of BBC political correspondent Iain Watson

Theresa May had a choice.

Abandoned by the ERG, she could have attempted to build a bipartisan consensus by moving towards a customs union.

This option is favored by Labor's Front Bank and several other conservatives, and Brussels considers it possible to achieve a stable parliamentary majority.

But many in their base had pointed to a broken manifesto promise and even It could have led to a split.

The Prime Minister returns to Brussels to demand changes to the contact point and hopes to sell enough Labor MPs to make a deal by promising new employment laws.

If there is no revised deal before March, some ministers may abandon the ship and ask them to postpone Brexit.

But only doing so could convince some of the ERG to return to the group to support a bad deal for a delayed, even endangered Brexit.

Ms. Leadsom accused Labor of "playing politics" to defeat the government.

But the chairman of the EU committee, Labor Hilary Benn, said Mrs. May had rej Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested alternatives and instead requested the approval of Tory Brexiteers.

"As long as the Prime Minister continues to try to keep the ERG on its side … we will not progress," he said today. "We have to compromise."

"Annoying … Unnecessary"

Secretary of Defense Tobias Ellwood told BBC Newsnight that ERG is a "party in a party … that flexes its muscles" to take advantage of Ms. May's shortage

Er called the actions of the group "irritating, provocative and … superfluous".

Economics Secretary Richard Harrington said members of the ERG magazine "House" Mistake the New Brexit Party by Nigel Farage The chairman of the UKIP called "a good idea".

But Secretary of Transportation Chris Grayling told the BBC, "This is not a sensible approach, the Conservative party is a team – it's a lot more connected than separating us."

Former Education Minister Nicky Morgan called on the Conservatives to take a "collective deep breath" and resolve the matter to avoid a no-deal scenario.

Mr. Baker, deputy chairman of ERG, said today he stands for "what the majority of the people voted for" while still "making enormous compromises".

But he added: "[The EU] should also understand that there are some of us who do not want to take a no-deal off the table

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve accused the conservative Eurosceptics," Completely unconcerned about the risks of "leaving the EU without a formal resignation agreement."

And he proposed a dozen or more ministers – including six in the Cabinet – could resign if Ms. May refuses to hold the Brexit talks on the 29th [Extend March]

Asked if she would resign if a deal had not been made before the end of the month, Labor and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said she wanted to work with all her colleagues for the Prime Minister to help them get their resignation t through Parliament.

Asked if the ERG were "traitors," she replied, "No, no way."

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Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has proposed the United Kingdom A call for extending the withdrawal process beyond March 29 would call for a "generous response".

Speaking at a Brexit event in Dublin, he said: "With the practices in the European elections, the creation of a new European Commission .. There is a natural renewal date until the end of June."

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, however, said that anyone who should crumble the solidarity of the EU over the Irish border problem in the last hour expects a "bad surprise".

Faster, is not it?

By BBC Europe Contributing Editor Katya Adler

Image Caption

EU leaders still believe that is not the time to move.

You see how the UK debates and debates and negotiates with itself – as it did so often during the Brexit process – rather than dealing with Brussels.

As a result, the new negotiations between the EU and Britain are nowhere fast.

"Mannequins" is a high-level EU personality who described the conversations with me, each page simply repeating their red lines to the other.

The current favorite forecast in Brussels is that things will not be resolved until March.

Read Katja's Blog

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