Theresa May bids to head off Tory rebellion by agreeing to publish some Brexit planning

Mark Sands
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British Prime Minister Attends The 37th Gulf Cooperation Council
May is currently in the Middle East attending the meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to the threat of a Brexit rebellion by agreeing to publish a plan on quitting the EU if MPs back her plan to trigger Article 50 before April.

A Labour motion due for debate tomorrow had called for May to publish details of her plans on Brexit ahead of beginning divorce proceedings from the EU.

And speculation had been rife that it could win enough support from Tory MPs to embarrass Downing Street.

But May has moved to head off the potential rebellion by lending her support to the motion, adding an amendment calling on MPs of all sides to back the government plan to begin proceedings by the end of March.

The motion will be debated tomorrow, concluding with a non-binding vote amongst MPs.

Read More: Does it matter if the government loses the Supreme Court Article 50 case?

Brexiteer Steve Baker said: “Every MP should respect the result by voting with the government for this excellent amendment to trigger Article 50 on the Prime Minister's schedule”

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer described the move as "a hugely significant climb down" from the government.

However, it remains unclear exactly how much information the government will receive as part of any Brexit plan.

As recently as 16 November, May said the following in PMQs when pressed for details over divorce talks with the EU:

Our plan is to deliver the best possible deal in trading with and operating within the European Union. Our plan is to deliver control of the movement of people from the European Union into the United Kingdom.

Our plan is to go out there across the world and negotiate free trade agreements around the rest of the world.

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