PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May will go head-to-head in the Commons before the Brexit vote
The Prime Minister is expected to field questions on Brexit ahead of tonight’s Article 50 vote.
There were cheers from Tory benches as Theresa May arrived in the House today.
Labour’s Toby Perkins Chesterfield kicks off proceedings with a question on pupil premiums on free school meals.
He says a local school is facing funding cuts under the revised funding formula.
Mrs May says: “We need to see a fairer funding formula for schools.”
Jeremy Corbyn stands to cheers. Starts with the NHS. He said: “Nine our of ten NHS trusts say hospitals are at unsafe levels of overcrowding.
“One in six A&E units in England are to be closed or downgraded.”
Theresa May traded blows with Jeremy Corbyn over the NHS
He asks how closing will tackle overcrowding and waiting lists.
The Prime Minister extends her thanks to hardworking staff of the NHS.
She adds: “Yes we recognise there are heavy pressures on the NHS. That’s why this year we are funding the NHS at £1.3billion more than then Labour Party promised at the last election.
“With A&E, we see 600 more A&E consultants and 2,000 more paramedics. It’s not about delivering a soundbite, it’s about delivering results and that is what this Conservative Government is doing.”
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Mr Corbyn and Mrs May trade blows over the state of the NHS with the Prime Minister saying patients in Wales, where Labour is in charge, wait longer for some treatments than patients in England.
Jeremy Corbyn asked what the Government is doing to tackle overcrowding and waiting lists in the NHS
Onto Surrey County Council calling off a planned 15 per cent council tax hike to fund social services after last minute talks with the Government.
Mr Corbyn reveals he has seen leaked copies of texts from Surrey County Council leader David Hodge reading: “I’m advised DCLG officials have been working on a solution and you will be contacting me to agree a memorandum of understanding.
He asks if other council will be offered the same deal.
Mrs May replies: “What the Labour party fails to understand is this is not just a case… of money.
“The last thing social care providers need is another one of Labour’s bouncing checks!”
The Commons erupts as Mrs May accuses Labour of supplying “alternative facts when what they really need is an alternative leader”.
Refusing to let go, Mr Corbyn carries on reading leaked text messages, he adds both the chancellor and health secretary represent Surrey constituencies.
Reading a leaked text message, he says: “The numbers you indicated are the numbers I understand are acceptable to call off the R.”
Mr Corbyn adds: “I’ve been reading a bit of John Le Carre and I understand R stands for referendum. Very subtle.”
“How much did the Government offer Surrey to kill this off and is the same sweetheart deal on offer to every council facing the social care crisis created by her government?!”
Theresa May will be hoping to send Brexiteers off with a smile for half-term recess when MPs vote later on giving the Prime Minister the power to trigger the start of Britain's divorce talks with the European Union.
Last night, the Government crushed a Tory rebellion as backbenchers threatened to derail the Prime Minister’s timetable for leaving the EU by forcing further votes on the exit deal.
But Mrs May quashed the rebellion after the Government promised MPs will get a chance to vote on the deal before the European Parliament votes on the agreement.
Brexit minister David Jones told MPs: "The Government has repeatedly from this despatch box committed to a vote on the final deal – a vote in both Houses before that deal comes into force.
"This, I repeat and confirm, will cover not only the withdrawal agreement but also the future arrangement that we propose with the European Union.
Theresa May leaves Downing Street ahead of PMQs
The Prime Minister leaves Number 10 for the last PMQs before the half-term recess
"I can confirm again that the Government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement … to be approved by both Houses of Parliament, and we expect and intend that this will happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement."
The Government said Britain will not seek further talks with the EU if parliament rejects the exit deal.
The attempt to tamper with the Prime Minister's Brexit plans was rejected in the Commons by 326 votes to 293 today, a majority of 33.
Last month, Mrs May promised to ask parliament to approve the final exit terms in 2019, but said that even if it rejected the deal, Britain would leave the EU.
Theresa May's Brexit plan
Mon, January 16, 2017
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
This afternoon, MPs are expected to debate the Bill allowing Article 50 to be triggered for up to seven hours, with the final vote expected to be held at around 8pm.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a revolt after 47 pro-Remain Labour MPs defied the leadership to oppose the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at second reading.
Mr Corbyn is expected to face a renewed wave of defiance after imposing a three-line whip on the vote at the third reading tonight – a move that risks the resignation of high-profile shadow cabinet ministers like Clive Lewis.
More to follow…