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What are people saying about Theresa May deferring the Brexit vote?

The Prime Minister was accused of being ‘frit’ by one Labour backbencher, but insisted she was determined to get her deal ‘over the line’.

Theresa May (Liam McBurney/PA)
Theresa May (Liam McBurney/PA)

Here is what people have been saying about Theresa May’s decision to pull the Brexit vote:

– Theresa May: “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow the deal would be rejected by a significant margin. We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the House at this time.”

– Theresa May: “If you take a step back it is clear that this House faces a much more fundamental question – does this House want to deliver Brexit?”

– Theresa May: “I am determined to do all I can to secure the reassurances this House requires, to get this deal over the line and deliver for the British people.”

– Jeremy Corbyn: “The Government is in disarray, uncertainty is building for business, people are in despair at the state of these failed negotiations and concerned about what it means for their jobs and communities – and the fault of that lies solely at the door of this shambolic Government.”

– Commons Speaker John Bercow: “Halting the debate after no fewer than 164 colleagues have taken the trouble to contribute will be thought by many members of this House to be deeply discourteous.”

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May’s Government was ‘in disarray’ (PA)

– Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable: “With the fiasco today, the Government has really lost all authority. I and my colleagues will fully support the Leader of the Opposition if he now proceeds to a no-confidence vote, as duty surely calls.”

– Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner: “Mrs Thatcher had a word for it, what she’s done today, F-R-I-T, she’s frit.”

– Former attorney general Dominic Grieve: “Surely we should go back to the public and ask them exactly what they want and offer them the alternative of remaining in the EU.”

– Conservative Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen: “Given the Prime Minister’s breathtaking U-turn today, I put it to her that she’s lost the trust and credibility of the House, lost the trust and credibility of the country and most importantly she’s lost the trust and credibility of the European Union as well.”

– Tory former minister Anna Soubry: “The thing that is changing is the view of the British people. I know it’s nearly the pantomime season but, ‘Oh yes it has’.”

– Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer: “This Government is falling apart before our eyes. The Prime Minister’s deal is so bad she isn’t even willing to put it to Parliament. The country deserves better than this.”

– European Council president Donald Tusk: “We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario.”

– European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva: “This deal is the best and only deal possible. We will not renegotiate.”

– Irish Taioseach Leo Varadkar: “The Withdrawal Agreement, including the Irish backstop, is the only agreement on the table. It took over a year and a half to negotiate and has the support of 28 governments and it’s not possible to reopen any aspect of that agreement without reopening all aspects of it.”

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Leo Varadkar (PA)

– European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt: “I can’t follow anymore. After two years of negotiations, the Tory government wants to delay the vote. Just keep in mind that we will never let the Irish down. This delay will further aggravate the uncertainty for people & businesses. It’s time they make up their mind!”

– Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: “So it is confirmed – pathetic cowardice it is from PM. Yet again the interests of the Tory party are a higher priority for her than anything else. This can’t go on.”

– DUP leader Arlene Foster: “Just finished a call with the Prime Minister. My message was clear. The backstop must go. Too much time has been wasted. Need a better deal. Disappointed it has taken so long for Prime Minister to listen.”

– Mayor of London Sadiq Khan: “The Prime Minister postponing the Brexit vote means the only sensible course of action is to withdraw Article 50 immediately.”

– CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn: “Unless a deal is agreed quickly, the country risks sliding towards a national crisis.”

– 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady: “We have just seen the Prime Minister, I think, doing the right thing.”

– Labour Party spokesman: “We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful.”

– Labour MP Rupa Huq: “This latest twist – this sort of premature parliamentary ejaculation – has put the lie to the claim she sticks to her guns.”

PA

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