Government not ruling out no-deal Brexit, Number 10 insists

David Rosenberg said failing to stand down immediately would lead to

David Rosenberg said failing to stand down immediately would lead to"months more of moaning

In parliament on Wednesday, May sought to play down the significance of those comments when asked about them by one of her lawmakers, saying her government's strategy of leaving with a deal on March 29 had not changed.

But several MPs have tabled amendments - which set out alternative plans - including one from Labour that would force the government to come back to Parliament by the end of the month to hold a substantive Commons vote on its Brexit plan.

She said she was prepared to speed up other parts of the ratification process of the Brexit deal if time gets too tight to pass legislation before exit day - a move some interpreted as a sign she was willing to keep negotiating until the last moment.

The group say they would then put down an amendment creating parliamentary time for a bill requiring the Prime Minister and Parliament to decide by mid-March whether the United Kingdom is leaving with a deal, without a deal or whether it will seek an extension to Article 50.

Ms Sturgeon told ITV's Peston Mrs May and her government are being "increasingly reckless and negligent" by not ruling out a no deal Brexit.

May updated parliament following a series of last-gasp meetings held in Belfast, Brussels, and Dublin despite European Union leaders' insistence that they will not renegotiate the deal they had already struck with her.

She added: "The prime minister can only get away with that if the House of Commons allows her to get away with that, and the longer it does the more complicit it will become in the disaster that eventually unfolds".

Most MPs want to avoid a no-deal scenario, fearing chaos at ports and disruption to business.

When asked whether she believes Scotland will be independent in the next few years, she replied: "I'm not going to put a precise timescale on it, but I do hope and believe that Scotland will become independent".

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May has promised MPs another chance to vote, on February 27, on what to do if no deal is reached.

The votes are not legally binding, and a House of Commons split between Brexit-backers and European Union supporters has so far sent contradictory messages.

They are due to vote again on the Brexit process on Thursday and the SNP have tabled a Commons amendment requiring the UK Government to begin immediate negotiations with the European Council to extend Article 50 by no less than three months.

Robbins reportedly suggested that MPs will be served an ultimatum in March: either accept UK Prime Minister Theresa May's deal, or expect a long extension to Article 50.

Thursday's vote is not binding on the government, but defeat would be a blow to her efforts to convince Brussels that she could secure a Commons majority for a revised agreement over the terms of Britain's departure.

The EU has continued to say it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.

With 45 days to go however, Mr Grieve warned time was running perilously short under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act which requires 21 sitting days before the ratification of any worldwide treaty.

"I am told that it does not mince its words and it makes it very plain that that outcome would be disastrous for British business", she told the BBC.

"(It) is to make sure that parliamentarians have had ample opportunity to look at the deal she's putting forward before it comes to that meaningful vote".

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