Britain prepared to leave European Union with no Brexit deal, says Leadsom

Prime Minister Theresa May during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons

David Lidington, who is effectively Prime Minister Theresa May's right-hand man, warned that a no-deal Brexit would mean "extra paperwork, extra disruption, extra delays and costs for business".

The pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group (ERG) had taken a "collective decision" to abstain causing the defeat.

Jeremy Corbyn has tabled this amendment to force the government to offer a meaningful vote by the end of February.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood accused the ERG of acting as "a party within a party" and described their behaviour as "provocative".

Tory backbencher Jonathan Djanogly said the ERG was seeking to "pull the United Kingdom off the cliff" and that he had seen nothing to show the Government had the determination to stop it.

May and her government have repeatedly said membership of a customs union would prevent it having an independent trade policy - something they have promoted as one of the main economic benefits of leaving the EU.

"If she carries on like this, then we all know what is going to happen. We are making enormous compromises to work across the party".

"What last night's vote was clearly about was the Labour Party playing politics because they chose to vote against what was an unharmful motion setting out that the Prime Minister needs more time to deal with the issues the House raised two weeks ago".

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said an extension to Brexit was possible but not inevitable.

He told The House magazine: "I read that [former UKIP leader] Nigel Farage is setting up a new party called "Brexit" and, if I were them, I'd be looking at that - that seems to reflect their views more than the Conservative Party does".

Speaking to the BBC ahead of today's vote on the government's "neutral" motion, ERG vice-chairman Mark Francois said: "We can not vote for this as it is now configured because it rules out no deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels".

MPs will again vote on options for Brexit today, with Eurosceptic Conservatives threatening to oppose a motion put forward by Theresa May.

Mr Robbins, who has become a target for attacks by Tory MPs, was also reported to have said the controversial "backstop" provision to prevent a hard border in Ireland would become a "bridge" to the future relationship with the European Union, signalling close adherence to Brussels rules.

Veteran Tory Europhile Kenneth Clarke has tabled a further amendment, backed by senior figures from across the House, including Labour's Harriet Harman, which would allow MPs to vote for their preferred Brexit outcome.

But she insisted: "The vote yesterday didn't change anything".

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