Withdrawal agreement overwhelmingly rejected in London

Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement has been rejected by the House of Commons this evening (Tuesday, January 15) following a vote by Parliament MPs.

The agreement was defeated. 432 voted against and 202 voted for, leaving a margin of 230.

The agreement, which was negotiated towards the end of last year, would have seen Britain retain a similar trading relationship with the EU to the one it has currently.

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), this morning reiterated her party’s opposition to May’s Brexit deal, announcing on Twitter that the DUP will oppose the “toxic backstop”.

Foster said: “Tonight will be historic but for the wrong reasons. We will oppose the toxic backstop and vote against the WA [withdrawal agreement]. It’s time for a sensible deal which governs our exit from the EU and supports all parts of the UK.”

The 10 DUP MPs in Westminster, which currently hold the balance of power for May’s government, were among those that rejected the deal, along with a number of rebels in May’s own Conservative Party.

These included Boris Johnson, who yesterday tweeted: “When this deal is voted down, let us not continue to flog this dead horse;” and Jacob Rees-Mogg, who stated: “This rotten withdrawal agreement must be defeated.”

What now for May?

It is not yet clear what direction Theresa May will now turn as the UK Prime Minister weighs up her options following the rejection of her deal.