Why, with a heavy heart, Brexiteers should now back Theresa May's deal

Why, with a heavy heart, Brexiteers should now back Theresa May's deal

The Defence Secretary was one of seven Cabinet Ministers to vote against the Government in opposition to plans to delay Brexit beyond March 29.

However, MPs categorically rejected an amendment that called for a second Brexit referendum.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not now time-limited. The plan now needs to be agreed upon by 27 European Union member states.

However, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said that if the deal did not get through the United Kingdom should not be afraid to leave without a deal on March 29.

Professor Iain Begg, of the European Institute and co-director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "EU agreement is likely, but the EU side will want reassurance that the extension is for a objective, not just to permit further procrastination by the UK".

Yesterday, more than half of Tory MPs - including seven Cabinet ministers, at least 33 other ministers and whips and five party vice-chairs - voted against Theresa May's motion to put back the date of the UK's exit from the EU.

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An often chaotic set of votes in parliament this week has shown that none of the alternatives - such as leaving with no deal, a referendum or allowing parliament to decide how to leave - can muster a majority among lawmakers yet. The March to Leave began on Saturday in Sunderland and is expected to reach London on withdrawal day, March 29.

But she must win over dozens of Brexit-supporting rebels in her own Conservative Party and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up her minority government.

Mrs May has made clear that she will press her Agreement to a third "meaningful vote" in the Commons by March 20 in the hope of securing the support of MPs who rejected it by 230 votes in January and 149 earlier this week.

But the deal has remained deadlocked in parliament, chiefly by disagreement over the so-called Irish "backstop" - a measure to avoid barriers at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Either she'll have to go to get her Brexit deal through or they'll be a vote of confidence'.

Whitehall officials regard this scenario as "very unlikely" as leading European Union figures have repeatedly said they do not want Britain to have a chaotic exit from the bloc.

In what pro-EU supporters said was a metaphor for his decision to walk away from the fallout of Brexit, Farage said he wouldn't be completing the full two-week walk to London but would instead join campaigners for about a third of it. In the event of an extension, the question is how long it will be.

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