Remainer MPs scrap bid to block No Deal Brexit in Valentine's Day showdown with Theresa May

Labour's Yvette Cooper was expected to launch a second attempt to delay Brexit rather than leaving the EU without a deal.

But tonight she announced her rebel group WON'T make its move this week – and will give Theresa May two more weeks to negotiate with Brussels.

The revelation takes the sting out of a vote scheduled for Valentine's Day which the PM feared would be a moment of truth for her Brexit plan.

Ms Cooper is the ringleader of a cross-party group of Remainers desperate to block a No Deal outcome.

Last month she came within a dozen votes of forcing Mrs May to postpone our EU exit by up to nine months.

The MPs had been planning to table their amendment again on Thursday, when the Commons will vote on the way forward for Brexit.

This evening they announced an alternative proposal – but they won't push it to a vote for another two weeks.

They revealed they will trigger their plan if Mrs May hasn't secured a final deal by February 26.

RUNNING DOWN THE CLOCK

If the Commons approved Ms Cooper's new bill, it would stop the PM running down the clock until the last days before Britain leaves the EU on March 29.

Mrs May would either have to seek the permission of Parliament for a No Deal Brexit, or request an extension to the process.

Ms Cooper said: "This bill would require the Prime Minister and Parliament to take crucial decisions by the middle of March at the very latest on whether the UK is leaving with a deal, without a deal or seeking an extension to Article 50.

“It forces the Prime Minister to tell us whether she wants to leave with no deal or to extend Article 50 if she still hasn’t got a deal in place by the middle of March."

The bill is backed by 12 senior backbench MPs from five different parties.

Its supporters include Tory ex-ministers Oliver Letwin, Nick Boles, Dominic Grieve and Caroline Spelman.

Sir Oliver said: "Any MP who genuinely wants to prevent an under-prepared no deal Brexit will need to vote for this bill at the end of February."

Ms Cooper's move means January 27 is now the key date for Mrs May when pro-EU ministers could break ranks and vote to rule out No Deal.

Today the PM made a statement to the Commons, asking MPs to back her efforts to squeeze concessions out of Brussels within the next two weeks.





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