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Live Reporting

Jennifer Scott, Lucy Webster and Gavin Stamp

All times stated are UK

  1. Recap: MPs back Brexit bill in 'historic vote'

    Boris Johnson and his Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay

    A week ago, the country was digesting the result of the most clear-cut Conservative general election victory in 30 years.

    Today, we witnessed another decisive political moment when MPs backed legislation to take the UK out of the EU on 31 January, a vote described as "historic" by leading Brexiteers.

    • Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement Bill cleared its first parliamentary hurdle with a majority of 124 votes
    • Six Labour MPs voted in favour of the bill, defying the party whip, while a further 32 either abstained or did not turn up to vote
    • MPs also overwhelmingly approved the timetable for the bill, meaning it is likely to pass Commons by the end of the first full week of January
    • In other news, former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has been cleared of breaking the ministerial code over claims he knew about a former aide's role in a collapsed rape trial.
    • And Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has revealed he was diagnosed with diabetes shortly before the general election.
  2. SNP MP criticises Conservative 'hubris'

    Conservative benches in House of Commons

    Some more reaction from MPs who voted against the Brexit bill.

    The SNP's Alyn Smith - a former member of the European Parliament - says there was "palpable hubris" emanating from the Conservative benches during Friday's debate.

    He urges the government to remember that Scotland voted to stay in the EU and is being dragged out against its will "due to events elsewhere".

    For the Lib Dems, the new St Albans MP Daisy Cooper says her party will continue to lead "cross-party efforts to oppose Brexit".

    She says she and the party's other 10 MPs will continue to make the case for the values of openness, inclusivity and internationalism that she suggests are part and parcel of EU membership.

  3. How wide will Labour leadership debate be?

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    Clive Lewis

    It is going to be tricky - though not impossible - for Clive Lewis (pictured) and some other candidates to be the next Labour leader to get on to the ballot in the first place.

    Under former leader Ed Miliband's reforms, MPs were the gatekeepers in the process - the sole nominees of candidates, with no role for the unions nor the grassroots.

    But under Mr Corbyn, two more criteria were added.

    A candidate now also has to be nominated by "5% of affiliates" - translated, this means basically two of the dozen affiliated unions, or one big union and a "socialist society" such as the Fabians.

    If this proves impossible then 5% of constituency parties would have to nominate - that is, more than 30 local groups.

    Mr Lewis has told me that, so far, he has no union nominations, but would expect some left-led constituencies to come behind him if they want a debate.

    His championing of Remain from the left and not the Blairite/centrist wing of the party endeared him to many grassroots activists.

    But his difficulty is he will be fishing in the same waters as Rebecca Long-Bailey, another left-winger who is more likely to get union support.

    Read more from Iain

  4. Watch: Staring at the highlights of UK politics in 2019

    BBC Politics Live

    BBC2's lunchtime political programme

    Leadership races, a general election and a lot of Brexit dominated the Politics Live programme throughout the year.

    For many viewers, the Mark Francois-Will Self stare-off was the TV moment of 2019, but there were others as this montage recalls.The lunchtime programme will return on Monday, 6 January

    Video content

    Video caption: Politics Live: Highlights of UK politics in 2019
  5. Alun Cairns cleared over rape trial row

    Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns

    Away from events in the House of Commons, former Welsh secretary Alun Cairns has been cleared of breaking the ministerial code over claims he knew about a former aide's role in a collapsed rape trial.

    An inquiry found it "unlikely" Mr Cairns had not been told something about Ross England's role as a witness.

    But Mr Cairns insisted he did not know the details of the case, and an adviser concluded there was no evidence to contradict that position.

    The MP resigned from the cabinet ahead of the general election.

    The position of Welsh secretary remained vacant during the campaign, in which Mr Cairns defended and won his Vale of Glamorgan seat.

    Read more

  6. Labour leader hopefuls should back Brexit - Lewell-Buck

    BBC News

    Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck - who defied her party to vote for the government's Brexit bill - has been talking about her preference for Labour leader and whether it matters if they backed Leave or Remain.

    All of the likely contenders to replace Jeremy Corbyn voted against the government.

    "I think the party can move on, but it absolutely matters to a lot of us, it absolutely matters to me, what people's stance is on Brexit whether or not I will vote for them as leader," said the South Shields MP.

    "They will have to say they have heard what happened, they understand the reasons why we lost those Leave seats, but also I would like to see some actions and it would have been good today to have seen them come through the lobby with me."

    Asked to describe the last few years being an MP in Westminster during the Brexit debates, Ms Lewell-Buck says: "It's been absolutely grim. It has been a toxic pressure cooker, there has been abuse flying around left, right and centre. No one has crowned themselves with any glory.

    "Whilst I am absolutely devastated that we've lost this general election, I hope we can start moving forward, start behaving like grown ups and actually get Parliament back to where it should be - a debating chamber where people work for the benefit of our country."

  7. DUP urges PM to 'undo damage' to Northern Ireland

    BBC News Channel

    Sammy Wilson

    Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson, whose party voted against the EU Withdrawal Bill, says the PM must live up to his claim to be leading a One Nation government and his pledge to treat all parts of the UK equally when it comes to Brexit.

    He told the BBC the UK had a stronger hand as it entered the second phase of the Brexit talks as there was no risk of Mr Johnson being "undermined" by MPs.

    "We will be saying to the government 'use your negotiating position to try and undo some of the damaging impact of the withdrawal agreement'.

    "If there was a no-tariff, no-quota agreement with the EU, then many of the checks that would be required across the Irish Sea would no longer exist."

  8. Pay of Cummings and other No 10 advisers revealed

    Dominic Cummings

    Boris Johnson's director of communications, Lee Cain, is among the best-paid advisers in Downing Street, according to new government figures.

    He is one of three special advisers paid between £140,000 and £145,000.

    The others are Sir Edward Lister, the PM's chief of staff, and Munira Mirza, the head of No 10 Policy Unit.

    Dominic Cummings (pictured), the architect of the PM's election strategy who is regarded as the most influential special adviser in Downing Street, is on slightly less, receiving between £95,000 and £99,000.

    The PM's Europe adviser David Frost is taking home between £125,000 and £129,000.

    As of last month, there were 108 special advisers working across government, the vast majority of them earning more than £60,000.

    The total pay bill rose from £6.6m in 2017-8 to £7.1m in 2018-9.

  9. Lewell-Buck: Labour made 'wrong call' in rejecting Brexit bill

    Emma Lewell-Buck

    Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck went against her party by voting in favour of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill, saying she had promised her constituents she would "always do my best to try and get us to leave the EU with a deal".

    She also defied the whip by voting for the schedule for the bill, telling BBC News: "Last time, I went against the timetable, then Boris Johnson called a general election and it was the worst general election in living memory.

    "He has a massive mandate now. To resist that on the back of losing 52 Leave Labour seats... it just doesn't send the right message that we have learnt our lesson here."

    Ms Lewell-Buck says she has "always tried to be loyal to the party", but they made "the wrong call" going against the bill.

    "I think off the back of losing so badly in the general election to then have the first vote in Parliament on the issue we lost over to say let's continue to keep doing what we have done historically was the wrong call," she adds.

  10. Photos from the Brexit debate

    Boris Johnson
    Image caption: Boris Johnson moves his bill in Parliament
    Image caption: Boris Johnson has his hands aloft as Jeremy Corbyn speaks in the debate
    Sir Lindsay Hoyle
    Image caption: The new Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, in the chair
  11. Majority of DUP MPs vote against the bill

    We now have a full breakdown of the result of the vote.

    Seven out of the eight Democratic Unionist MPs opposed the bill, which they say will create a border down the Irish Sea, while one appears not to have voted.

    All 11 Lib Dem MPs voted against, as did Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. The vast majority of SNP members of Parliament, 45 in total, voted against.

  12. Six Labour rebels supported Johnson's deal

    Labour MPs Sarah Champion, Emma Lewell-Buck, Jon Cruddas, Rosie Cooper, Grahame Morris and Toby Perkins all voted with the government.

    MPs backed Johnson's deal
  13. No mandate for 'bad Brexit deal', say Labour

    BBC News

    Labour's Tony Lloyd says the government has a mandate for delivering Brexit but it does not have a mandate for pushing through a "bad Brexit deal".

    The shadow Scottish Secretary urges the PM to reconsider his decision to rule out any further time for talks on a trade deal with the EU if an agreement is not reached by the end of 2020.

    Locking the UK into such a tight timetable is "foolish", he tells the BBC.

    He urges Mr Johnson to be more statesmanlike, saying the PM has a habit of getting by through "flashy rhetoric or a quick joke" and he needs to "move on" from that kind of style to govern in the interests of the whole of the UK.

  14. Francois hails 'tremendous' result

    BBC News

    Mark Francois

    Tory MP Mark Francois welcomes the support of a handful of Labour MPs who he says appear to have "got the message".

    He tells the BBC that the outcome of the vote was "emphatic" and "tremendous", adding that the Commons had "obeyed the instruction" of the people.

    Looking forward, he says aspects of the next phase of Brexit trade talks could be "crunchy" but a deal with the EU can be concluded next year.

    He insists any extension to the transition period beyond 2020 "will not be needed" and the European Research Group of MPs, of which he is a leading member, won't back one.

    "There is more than enough time to negotiate the details," he adds.

  15. Six Labour MPs back Brexit bill


    We have now got the breakdown of the votes in favour of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, 353 of them came from Tories.

    But six Labour MPs voted for the plan too:

    • Sarah Champion - MP for Rotheram
    • Rosie Cooper - MP for West Lancashire
    • Jon Cruddas - MP for Dagenham and Rainham
    • Emma Lewell-Buck - MP for South Shields
    • Grahame Morris - MP for Easington
    • Toby Perkins - MP for Chesterfield

    A further 32 Labour MPs abstained in the vote - despite Jeremy Corbyn telling his party to vote against it.

    They include three shadow cabinet members:

    • John Trickett - MP for Hewmsworth
    • Ian Lavery - MP for Wansbeck
    • Andrew Gwynne - MP for Denton and Reddish
  16. Brexit: What happens now?


    MPs have voted in favour of Boris Johnson's EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the schedule to see it through Parliemnt.

    So what happens next?

    After the end of business today, MPs will go on recess until Tuesday, 7 January.

    As soon as they are back, they will enter the Committee stage of the bill for two days (or 16 hours of debate), where they will scrutinise the legislation and debate any amendments that have been tabled.

    The final stage of the bill in the Commons will then take place on Thursday, 9 January, before it heads to the Lords for approval.

    Only then can it be made into law - but if it is all agreed, that would be far ahead of the Brexit deadline of 31 January.

    Finally, it will be sent to the European Parliament for ratification.