Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy named among the 'Brexit mutineers'

Jeremy Corbyn suffers backbench rebellion on Brexit as 19 Labour MPs vote against UK withdrawal from EU

PRIME MINISTER Theresa May began a major parliamentary battle over Brexit on Tuesday (14), facing competing demands by MPs to change her strategy as tensions rise in the government.

A host of MPs (and many others) were quick to condemn the Daily Telegraph for branding Brexit rebels "mutineers" on its front page.

Rebel Conservative MPs have brushed off criticism of their opposition to the government's approach towards Brexit.

She told the House: "This is a blatant piece of bullying that goes to the very heart of democracy".

Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash has told talkRADIO anyone voting against enshrining the leave date in law is effectively trying to reverse the referendum result.

"If fighting for the best possible future for our country and our government is considered mutiny - then bring it on", tweeted one MP, Heidi Allen. We want a good Brexit not a hard ideologically driven Brexit.

Among the critics of the Daily Telegraph's "mutineers" headline was Brexit Minister Steve Baker, who tweeted: "I regret any media attempts to divide our party".

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"What we are doing as a government is listening to the contributions being made, we are listening carefully to those who wish to improve the bill, and, I hope we can all come together to deliver on the decision the country took that we should leave the European Union".

The government were "boxing themselves into a corner" in using the bill to specify the exact date and time of Brexit - 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019 - he said, because the United Kingdom would be "hamstrung" if the negotiations needed to be extended at the last minute.

Debate resumes on Wednesday on the next batch of nearly 200 pages of amendments tabled from MPs of all parties.

And, Mr Corbyn had at least 21 MPs ignoring the Labour Party whip during votes to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill.

But a last-minute government move to use the law to legislate for Brexit day has sparked widespread anger among those who argue that there should be some flexibility if European Union negotiations are delayed.

Ministers want to set exit day as 2300 GMT on March 29, 2019.

"If I wanted to stop Brexit I should have voted against Article 50".

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