Theresa May cancels parliament's meaningful vote on draft deal
There may be some backlash
It is being reported that the prime minister will announce a delay to the meaningful vote on the draft Brexit agreement in the Commons this afternoon.
Current estimates show the Tories losing that vote by as many as 100 MPs. Such a loss would likely be catastrophic for the government and Theresa May's leadership of the Conservative party, making a delay of that vote the least damaging path for No 10 to take.
BREAKING: May pulls the Meaningful Vote. More on @SkyNews
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) December 10, 2018
Theresa May will address the House of Commons at 3.30pm on Monday afternoon, leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom announced.
It's understood that address will lay out her reasons for delaying the vote.
A senior Downing Street source told the Press Association: "I would ignore that. They've no business reporting that."
First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the decision amounted to "pathetic cowardice" from the prime minister. She said: "So it is confirmed - pathetic cowardice it is from PM. Yet again the interests of the Tory party are a higher priority for her than anything else. This can't go on."
A No 10 spokesperson had reiterated the vote was going ahead just minutes before it was pulled, following an emergency conference call with Theresa May's cabinet.
It has previously be insisted that call was simply to update ministers on conversations held between Mrs May and other EU leaders over the weekend, but it's now believed impassioned appeals to delay the vote and avoid crisis.
The news comes after the European Court of Justice announced on Monday morning the UK could unilaterally withdraw itself from the Article 50 process without the permission of the EU's other 27 members.