Britain's May narrowly avoids defeat in parliament on European Union trade laws

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"We have changed tack once, and we can change again", said Johnson.

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson urged the British government on Wednesday to change its strategy for leaving the European Union (EU), telling members of Parliament (MPs) it was "not too late to save Brexit".

His remarks are nonetheless a headache for the British Conservative leader who is trying to rally support for her Brexit plan, which would see Britain remain closely aligned with the European Union on trade rules for goods (though not services).

Johnson concluded his address by calling on May and the parliament to "aim explicitly for that glorious vision of Lancaster House: a strong, independent, self-governing Britain that is genuinely open to the world" and "take back control" of their country so that the United Kingdom can implement "proper free trade deals for the benefit and the prosperity of the British people".

Ireland's premier Leo Varadkar reiterated on Tuesday his government's position is that there can be no Brexit deal without a backstop to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

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The vote concerned remaining in the EMA and ensuring regulatory cooperation continues as part of the European medicines regulatory network.

Meanwhile plans by the government to close parliament on Thursday for its summer recess rather than next week were abandoned.

European Union member states have been told to step up their preparations for a possible "no deal" Brexit.

"A fog of self-doubt has descended", he said.

Theresa May repeated her warning that "no deal is better than a bad deal" - as she admitted that some of her Brexit plan might not be ready in time.

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It is a long-standing parliamentary convention that ministers who quit the cabinet are given the opportunity to address the House to explain their reasons for doing so.

"It essentially means that, for now, Theresa May will not be facing a no-confidence vote", she added.

Highlighting the fine margins May is dealing with, Tuesday's victory required the votes of four pro-Brexit Labour opposition lawmakers who backed the government in defiance of their party's instructions.

"We should not and need not be stampeded by anyone", Johnson said. He added: 'All it shows is that, while the vehicle is careering towards the Brexit cliff-edge, senior Conservatives are fighting over what song to play on the stereo.' The prime minister wasn't even in the Commons to hear the address because she was answering questions about Brexit to a committee of MPs.

"I think you're looking at no-deal or no Brexit and the only way your get no Brexit is if there's another vote and I wouldn't put any money on another vote happening either".

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May would face a leadership challenge if 15 percent of the members of parliament from her Conservative Party wrote letters calling for one.

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