Britain's battle over Brexit resumes ahead of big vote

Lorries taking part in the trial of a government plan to hold lorries in the event of post Brexit disruption

The Commons amendment, tabled by Labour's Yvette Cooper, is created to limit the Treasury's ability to spend money on no-deal preparations, without the explicit consent of Parliament.

With May unable apparently to squeeze anything out of the bloc's negotiators in the final hour that would substantially alter the political dynamic in London, her aides are also considering a parliamentary trick - to change the wording of the legislation presenting the Brexit withdrawal agreement next week by making any approval of the deal contingent on the European Union offering more concessions.

The government has committed to holding a vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal next week despite continued doubts over whether it can pass the Commons, with the vote likely to take place on next Tuesday.

Jeremy Corbyn has lashed out at the government over what he said was a shambolic rehearsal of plans for the former Manston airport to be used as an emergency lorry park in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Analysts said May's comments to the BBC did little to hide the fact the British leader has no "gamechanger" amendments to the proposed withdrawal agreement capable of swinging the parliamentary arithmetic in her favour. "That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in parliament to prevent no deal".

More than 200 MPs from across the Commons have been invited to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister today after signing a letter calling on her to rule out no-deal.

The vote, pencilled in for Jan 15 or 16, was pulled at the last minute in December when it became clear more than 100 Conservative Party lawmakers were going to opposite it.

Britain is due to quit the body in March, but the UK Prime Minister's deal with Brussels needs to be passed by the UK Parliament.

Asked whether he was prepared to resign to stop a no-deal Brexit, he replied: "Definitely, I would".

"Parliament has now asserted its authority and sovereignty and effectively exposed the threat of no deal as an empty one".

Route of lorry convoy from Manston Airport to Dover
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The coalition of high-profile MPs behind the amendment are expected to use the victory as a springboard for further parliamentary action to prevent the United Kingdom crashing out of the EU.

Moves so far would be only the "tip of the iceberg" if there is a no-deal Brexit, EY said.

Debate will resume on Wednesday and the vote is officially slated for the week of January 14, but MPs look no closer to reaching agreement.

Britain can request an extension to the Brexit procedure, but all 27 other European Union countries must agree, and the bloc's leaders said last month that they would need good reasons to prolong it. Officials have said a second Brexit referendum could be one good reason to do so.

"If we as a new, incoming Labour government were to go to Europe without those red lines we know that we could get a different, better deal and that's what we want to try and achieve". "I don't think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction that we'll see in Parliament".

Effectively this constrains the government's ability to act to keep its taxation system working smoothly if it pursues a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of a majority in parliament.

The EU, for its part, has insisted that the withdrawal agreement can not be renegotiated but has made clear the backstop is meant only as a temporary measure of last resort.

"We are pretty much where we were before Christmas, with the proviso that there's less time left".

However, as MPs prepare to return to Westminster with a crunch vote looming on an withdrawal agreement thrashed out with Brussels, the prime minister said no alternative plan was able to respect the 2016 referendum result, protect jobs and provide certainty to citizens and businesses.

A European Commission spokeswoman said talks could not be reopened between the EU and UK.

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