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MPs seek to block ‘no-deal’ Brexit with govt shutdown

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Senior Conservative and Labour MPs have joined forces in an attempt to stop a “no-deal” Brexit.

Tory MP Nicky Morgan and Labour’s Yvette Cooper have tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill which would limit the government’s spending powers in the event of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.

It has the support of Tories Sir Oliver Letwin, Nick Boles and Sarah Wollaston – as well as Hilary Benn, the Labour chairman of the Brexit select committee.

A separate measure put down by Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable would also prevent ministers from collecting key taxes unless parliament has approved its approach to Brexit.

Ms Cooper said: “The risks to our economy and security from no deal are far too high and it would be irresponsible to allow it to happen.

“I do not believe parliament would support no deal and ministers should rule it out now.

“Time is running out and this is too serious for brinkmanship.

“Parliament needs to make sure there are opportunities to stop the country reaching the cliff edge by accident. This amendment helps to do just that.”

Treasury select committee chairwoman Ms Morgan said: “Many of us have been clear that parliament will not allow a no-deal situation to unfold, and with less than 12 weeks to go until 29 March it is time for parliament to show our opposition to a no-deal exit.”

Mr Cable said his amendment, which has support from the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green MP Caroline Lucas, said: “The government is attempting to force parliament to panic by refusing to take no deal off the table.

“The time has now come for MPs to assert their authority by making it impossible for the government to collect crucial taxes if they do pursue a damaging no-deal.

“Liberal Democrats will continue to work with others across the house to give the public the final say with a People’s Vote but this amendment should bring parliament together to force the government to change course.”

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