By Paul Waugh
Theresa May has revealed the crunch Commons vote on Brexit will be held on Tuesday, December 11.
The Prime Minister announced the date during yet another marathon statement to Parliament, when her compromise deal for exiting the EU again came under sustained attack from all sides.
“I’m looking ahead to December 11, when this House will be faced with a decision as to whether or not it wishes to deliver on the wishes of the British people,” May told a Labour MP during the debate.
Her words were the first confirmation of the date for the Commons showdown, one of the most important political votes in a generation.
Minutes earlier, a leaked letter from Chief Whip Julian Smith to MPs laid bare the Government’s timetable for the so-called “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal.
Here’s the letter Chief Whip Julian Smith’s has sent to MPs outlining the key dates over the next few weeks. Brexit meaningful vote and debate: Tuesday 4th-Tuesday 11th December. pic.twitter.com/20Gm0hQxSj
— Adam Payne (@adampayne26) November 26, 2018
MPs will have five days of debate before the big vote on Tuesday, December 11.
May spent more than two and a half hours fending off repeated attacks from her own Tory backbenchers on Monday.
In a fresh broadside, several Conservatives accused the PM of a policy of “surrender” to Brussels on everything from Northern Ireland’s status to long-term trade deals.
Jeremy Corbyn also accused her of not listening to the criticism. “Ploughing on is not stoic, it’s an act of national self harm,” he said
“Instead of threatening this House with a no deal scenario of a no-Brexit scenario, the Prime Minister now needs to prepare a plan B.”
Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon slammed the deal as a “huge gamble” and ex-Brexit secretary David Davis urged her to withhold the £39 billion divorce bill until a comprehensive trade agreement had been reached.
Sir Michael, speaking out for the first time against the deal, said: “Paying, leaving, surrendering our vote and our veto without any firm commitment to frictionless trade or the absolute right to dismantle external tariffs.
“Is it really wise to trust the future of our economy to a pledge simply to use ‘best endeavours’?”
Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson revealed he would be voting against the plans, while former International Development Secretary Priti Patel also lined up to vow her opposition.
Former minister Mark Francois led the charge of the backbench Brexiteers’ European Reform Group (ERG), accusing May of “surrender”.
“This will be about the most important thing that those of us in the House will ever vote upon in our entire lives,” he said.
“No sooner is the ink dry than the Spanish are after Gibraltar and the French are after our fish.
“The House of Commons has never surrendered to anybody and I can assure you it won’t start now.”