May's Brexit deal fails to pass the House again

A smaller defeat for the PM is the sole consolation this evening, after a 24 hours that must rank as one of the most strenuous for a leader in recent UK history.

A smaller defeat for the PM is the sole consolation this evening, after a 24 hours that must rank as one of the most strenuous for a leader in recent UK history. 75 Conservative rebels and 10 DUP MPs voted against, while interestingly all 11 of the new Independent Group voted against, which will raise suspicions that the group will swing behind a second referendum in due course. Sterling is mostly in the same place it was a few hours ago, the vote being no real surprise. Those expecting further gains for the pound will now hope that ‘no deal’ is ruled out tomorrow and that an extension is voted for on Thursday.

The frustration from the EU side is palpable, and understandable. Having moved heaven and earth to accommodate the PM, they now have to await developments. One suspects that each new visit to Brussels will get less of a response, and only a general election or a second referendum would now shift opinion, and even then perhaps not by much.

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