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May will 'give everything she's got' to get Brexit plan through, says Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom thinks Theresa May will come back with a plan B. Credit: ITV/Peston

The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom has said it was "perfectly reasonable" that the prime minister would come back to parliament with a plan B if she lost the Brexit meaningful vote on Tuesday.

MPs voted in favour of an amendment, brought by Dominic Grieve, that demands Theresa May return within three sitting days with a new Brexit plan if her agreement is defeated in next week's crunch vote.

So far, Mrs May has refused to discuss alternatives to her deal or countenance a plan B.

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Asked on ITV's Peston if it was "remotely possible" the government could come back with a plan, Mrs Leadsom, who voted against the amendment, said: "First of all, the prime minister always comes back to parliament at every available opportunity, every time anything changes, so it's perfectly reasonable and believable that she will come back to parliament with her thoughts."

She said the prime minister "absolutely intends to give everything she's got" to get the meaningful vote through.

Mrs Leadsom said she disagreed with those who say Mrs May's deal is "not a good one" describing it as a "very careful compromise".

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Mrs Leadsom told Robert Peston she was "optimistic" about "all scenarios" including a no-deal Brexit and reiterated her view that a second referendum would be "appalling".

In contrast, Deputy Labour leader, Tom Watson, implied that if a General Election was called, Labour could put a second referendum in their manifesto.

In response to People's Vote campaigner Femi Oluwole, Mr Watson said: "I can't give a 100% guarantee because I don't write the manifesto - we've got a democratic process for that.

"But obviously it would build on our previous manifesto and our conference decisions. But it seems to me highly unlikely that we would run away from a conference decision if there was an early general election."

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Dominic Grieve, whose amendment was approved by parliament today, accused the government of "can-kicking".

He said the reason behind his amendment was to create the dialogue needed to "get ourselves out of this mess".

Clashing with Brexiteer Maria Caulfield, Mr Grieve said: "Today's amendment was about process, not about the end point. What we've seen over the last month is can kicking. the government pulls a debate in December on a critical issue. There's a delay of four weeks and we are heading for the buffers."

"I would like to see a sensible discussion. And that can only come about when the government is prepared to have a dialogue with the House of Commons and the government has been avoiding that dialogue."

"I hope the prime minister will be able to take advantage of this amendment to actually start this dialogue if she can't get her deal through."