PM enjoys good night as MPs back Brady amendment and reject five out of six others - but EU block renegotiation

Prime Minister Theresa May has enjoyed a good night in the House of Commons as she won the backing of MPs to demand the backstop be dropped from her Brexit deal.

But the prime minister's claim that renegotiation "will not be easy" was quickly underlined as EU leaders issued a statement confirming the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for discussion.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reported:

It came minutes after a majority of MPs voted in support of the government-backed Brady amendment.

Five other rival amendments were rejected by MPs, however, a majority voted against the government and narrowly backed former minister Dame Caroline Spelman's amendment to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The results are set to dictate how Mrs May attempts to get more concessions from Brussels, with less than 60 days remaining until the UK is due to leave the EU.

Mrs May told MPs there is a “substantial and sustainable” majority in the Commons for leaving the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the House of Commons he is prepared to meet with Theresa May to "find a sensible Brexit solution that works for the whole country".

He said: "That solution should be based around Labour’s alternative plan of a customs union with a UK say, a strong single market relationship and a cast iron guarantee on workers’ rights, consumer standards and environmental protections."

The full statement from the EU leaders, meanwhile, read: "We welcome and share the UK Parliament's ambition to avoid a no-deal scenario.

"We continue to urge the UK government to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps as soon as possible.

European Council president Donald Tusk said the Withdrawal Agreement is 'not open for re-negotiation'. Credit: PA

"The Withdrawal Agreement is and remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

"The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for re-negotiation."

Sinn Fein Vice-President Michelle O’Neill told ITV News the PM is "deluding herself if she thinks she can negotiate legally binding changes to the backstop".

She added: “(Mrs May is hoping that the European Union and Ireland blinks, as the Tories threaten all with a hard crash Brexit. It is crucial that the Irish Government and the EU hold firm."

The results of the votes on the seven amendments:

1. Labour amendment A (Rejected by 31)

A defeat for Labour's amendment A was the first result of the night.

MPs began the evening by rejecting Labour's amendment A in a vote of Yes 296 v No 327.

The amendment aimed to allow MPs to vote on options to stop a no-deal exit, including a customs union and the possibility of a second referendum.

2. SNP's amendment O (Rejected by 288)

SNP's amendment O was comprehensively defeated.

MPs secondly emphatically rejected the SNP's amendment O (Yes 39 v No 327). It sought to extend the Article 50 process and ruled out a no-deal Brexit.

3. Grieve's Amendment G (Rejected by 20)

Pro-Remain Dominic Grieve wanted to take back control of the Brexit business. Credit: PA

Amendment G from Tory former minister Dominic Grieve was narrowly defeated (Yes 301 v No 321).

It had bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit and allow MPs to effectively wrest control of Commons business from the Government for six individual days in the run-up to the UK's scheduled withdrawal date of March 29.

4. Cooper's Amendment B (Rejected by 23)

Some commentators had expected the vote on Yvette Cooper's amendment to be tighter. Credit: PA

MPs rejected Labour former minister Yvette Cooper's amendment by a similar margin to Grieve's (Yes 298 v No 321).

It would have given Parliament control over the Brexit process if Theresa May failed to secure a deal by February 26.

This ultimately sought to allow MPs to vote on a Bill which extends Article 50 and prevents a no-deal Brexit.

5. Reeves' Amendment J (Rejected by 32)

Labour MP Rachel Reeves sought to extend Article 50 in the event of a no deal scenario. Credit: PA

MPs rejected the amendment by Ms Cooper's Labour colleague Rachel Reeves by an even greater margin (Yes 290 v No 322).

The amendment sought an extension of Article 50 if there a no Brexit deal was approved by the Commons.

6. Spelman's Amendment I (Supported by eight)

MPs have supported Tory former minister Dame Caroline Spelman's amendment to avoid a no-deal Brexit - voting against the government (Yes 318 v No 310).

7. Brady's Amendment N (Supported by 16)

Sir Graham Brady's backstop-dumping amendment got over the line. Credit: PA

MPs have followed the government's orders and supported the much-flagged proposal by senior Tory Sir Graham Brady (Yes 317 v 301 No).

The amendment demands the controversial Northern Ireland backstop be replaced with "alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border".

The voting came after MPs emphatically rejected the PM's Withdrawal Agreement earlier this month, leading to the rival bids among MPs to alter the course of negotiations.

MPs debated for several hours in the Commons ahead of the voting, including the surprising admission from senior Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin that he is "past caring what the deal is we have".

Here's full coverage of the debate, votes and results: