TODAY could decide the future of the Brexit process, with with MPs due to vote on whether or not to approve Theresa May's deal with the European Union.

But it looks like the prime minister is heading for a massive defeat, with most experts predicting her controversial agreement will be thrown out.

Although Mrs May made a last-minute plea to Tory backbenchers to back the deal last night, this appears to have fallen on deaf ears, with more than 100 of her own MPs predicted to oppose the agreement.

But Conservative Monmouth MP David Davies has said he will back the deal.

MP for Newport East Jessica Morden, as well as Torfaen's Nick Thomas-Symonds, Islwyn's Chris Evans and Blaenau Gwent's Nick Smith - all Labour - have confirmed they will vote against the deal.


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Newport West MP Paul Flynn has been unable to attend Parliament in recent months due to poor health, and has not confirmed if he will be taking part in the Brexit vote.

Here's how today's events are expected to proceed:

  • 12.45pm: Debate begins
  • 7pm: Voting begins
  • 9pm: Result expected

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, environment secretary Michael Gove said he did not know how the vote would go.


Environment secretary Michael Gove. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

He reiterated the warning made by several ministers that remaining in the EU was worse than leaving without a deal and suggested there were "people in the House of Commons and outside who have never made their peace with this decision" to leave.

He also defended the Northern Ireland border backstop, the most divisive part of the deal, saying it was "deeply uncomfortable for the EU".

He continued: "If it is a trap for anyone, it's a trap for the EU. Why? Because the European Union said at the very beginning of this process that there would be no cherry-picking, the four freedoms of the single market were indivisible.

"But we have picked a whole bowl of glistening cherries, we have free access to the European market with no tariffs and no quotas but at the same time we say that European citizens have no freedom of movement."

The deal suffered its first official parliamentary defeat in the House of Lords on Monday night as peers voted by 321 votes to 152 - a majority of 169 - to reject it.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has suggested he was finally ready to table a vote of no-confidence in the government if the deal loses in the Commons.


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA Wire

"Don't be concerned, it's coming soon," he told a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer offered no more clarity on Tuesday morning, telling Today: "The timing will be down to Jeremy Corbyn but he has already indicated that it will be soon."

But it appears unlikely that Labour can muster enough votes to force a General Election, with both Tory rebels and the DUP indicating they would continue to back the government in a confidence vote.


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Downing Street has given little indication as to how the prime minister intends to proceed if she is defeated.

Under the terms of an amendment passed last week, she must table a motion on her Plan B by Monday - although in practice she is unlikely to want to wait that long.

Some reports have suggested she could fly to Brussels as early as Wednesday in an attempt to obtain further concessions on the crucial issue of the backstop.

But that could prove problematic if she has suffered a massive defeat, with EU leaders reluctant to give ground if they believe it is simply impossible for her to get the deal through the Commons.


Journalists broadcast from outside 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of the House of Commons vote on the prime minister's Brexit deal. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Alternatively, she could opt to bring back the deal to the house for a second - or possibly even a third - time in an attempt to wear down the opposition.

Dominic Raab said Brexiteers like him could back a deal if aspects such as the backstop were dealt with.

The former Brexit secretary told Today: "I made clear when I resigned that there were three aspects that needed to be addressed.

"The backstop is clearly one of them and I want to see very clearly the Withdrawal Agreement linked to a best-in-class free trade agreement.

"If we could do those two things, someone like me would say that, actually, we could vote for it."