MPs reveal two new plans to stop no-deal Brexit

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MPs have revealed how they are planning to block Theresa May from taking the UK out the EU without an exit deal.

Two proposals were published after the prime minister urged MPs to give her more time to renegotiate an agreement with Brussels, but faced claims she is running down the clock.

Jeremy Corbyn is leading the Labour frontbench bid to force a vote on the EU divorce deal itself or let MPs come up with their own plans to change the course of Brexit.

From the backbenches, Yvette Cooper has teamed up with Labour colleagues and Tory rebels to try to give MPs a separate vote a fortnight before Brexit day on 29 March.

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It would force Mrs May to declare whether she will take the UK out of the EU with or without a deal, or delay Brexit.

The bid, which is supported by Conservatives Oliver Letwin, Nick Boles and Dominic Grieve, is a revised amendment following the original’s defeat by 23 votes last month.

Ms Cooper had sought to delay Brexit until the end of 2019 if there was no deal in place by the end of February, but faced defeat at the hands of Labour MPs who worried about the reaction in Leave-voting constituencies.

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Her new plan is likely not to be formally put to parliament until the end of February, while Mr Corbyn is expected to table his on Thursday.

MPs will get a chance to vote on Mrs May’s Brexit progress that day, but she has sought to head off a Tory rebellion by telling her backbenchers to “hold our nerve” for another two weeks.

Mr Corbyn has urged the vital Tory rebel MPs he needs to win a vote to switch sides and not give in to being “blackmailed” into supporting a “deeply flawed deal”.

Meanwhile the prime minister’s chief EU negotiator Olly Robbins is reported to have been overheard in a Brussels hotel bar telling colleagues MPs could be faced with an extended delay to Brexit unless they back her deal.

ITV News reported Mr Robbins said the EU would probably give the government an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.

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Senior cabinet ministers have been deployed to Brussels to push for renegotiating one of the most critical parts of the withdrawal agreement, which was agreed between the UK and EU in November.

Mrs May wants to strip out the Irish backstop and replace it with as yet “unspecified arrangements”, which could include technology at the border.

The insurance policy is to prevent a hard border reforming at the UK’s only land frontier with EU – where Northern Ireland meets the Republic.

Tory MPs overwhelmingly rejected her deal last month, but later voted for a motion saying they would pass it without the backstop element.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 by default.

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