British PM warns of "catastrophe" in last minute plea for Brexit deal

Anti-Brexit protesters outside Parliament as Jeremy Hunt warned that failing to pass Mrs May's deal could mean no Brexit

Writing in the Sunday Express ahead of a critical vote this week, May urged lawmakers to "do what is right for the country", because she said rejecting the will of the people would be "a catastrophic and unforgivable breach of trust in our democracy".

In a significant shift of tone apparently created to win over hardline Brexiteers who have set their faces against Mrs May's deal, Mr Hunt warned that defeat next week would not necessarily provide MPs with the opportunity to choose their preferred version of Brexit.

Pressed on what happens if the deal is defeated, Mr Barclay said he suspected the Commons would support something "along the lines of this deal" but declined to speculate on whether the government had a Brexit "plan B" lined up.

Theresa May told lawmakers they should not let down Brexit-backers.

Danielle Haralambous, a United Kingdom analyst at the EIU, said: "Time is simply running out, and we're at a stage where Brexit can probably only happen in late March now in the unlikely event that parliament approves Mrs May's deal on 15 January, or if parliament supports leaving without a deal".

"I think parliament will take control of this process, will insist that we pursue the option of no Brexit", he told BBC TV.

Brexit could be postponed even longer if a general election or second referendum takes place, the Guardian reported.

Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, the opposition leader said that if Labour fails to force a general election, the party is then "into the consideration" of another referendum.

MPs, she said, should respect the results of the 2016 referendum in which 52 per cent of voters backed leaving the EU.

Mrs May has also faced calls from predecessor Sir John Major to revoke Article 50 to stop Brexit as he warned it would be "morally reprehensible" to crash out without a deal.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Thursday that the world did not want to see a disorderly Brexit and that he fully supported May's withdrawal deal. We can not - and must not - let you down.

During an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Rudd three times declined to say whether she would remain a member of the government if it opted for a no-deal Brexit.

Former minister Jim Fitzpatrick told the Commons on Friday that he was "not far away" from backing May's deal, saying the "danger of no deal is still there" and the PM's plan was "the only real alternative on the table".

Mr Russell also said that the views of the people of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government should not be ignored.

But he said he does not have the military "actively involved" in no-deal planning beyond the secondment of a "small number" of staff from the Ministry of Defence.

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