Half Welsh Tory MPs want to keep no-deal Brexit option

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media captionTheresa May and Jeremy Corbyn address MPs after her Brexit deal is voted down again

Four Welsh Tory MPs have said they will vote to "keep no-deal on the table" later, when the Commons considers whether to stop the UK leaving the EU without an agreement on 29 March.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies opposes no-deal but said it was unwise to take it off the table during negotiations.

Fellow Tory MP Chris Davies said it would be "silly" to drop no-deal now.

But Theresa May has confirmed she would vote to rule out a no-deal exit later this month.

Ex-Conservative Welsh Secretary, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, has said he will do likewise.

Wednesday's government motion only applies to the 29 March deadline and would not rule out departing the European Union without an agreement later this year.

Former Brexit minister, Clwyd West MP David Jones, and Monmouth MP David Davies said they will vote to keep the no-deal option in 16 days time.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned the risk of a "disorderly" Brexit has never been higher, following MPs' second rejection of Theresa May's deal on Tuesday night, by 149 votes, and says the UK must break the impasse.

Glyn Davies, Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Wales Office, told BBC Wales: "I shall be voting to keep no-deal on the table.

"I'm not in favour of no-deal but to take no-deal off the table when you're in the middle of a negotiation seems to me to be very unwise and anyone who's ever done a deal knows perfectly well that it is not a sensible thing to do."

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Chris Davies said he would "certainly be voting to keep no-deal on the table".

"It's a very silly idea to try and take your best negotiating card off and I regret that some of my colleagues in the House want that to happen."

"The prime minister has had her hands tied behind her back more often than she'd like and this would be even worse."

In the Senedd, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford again insisted no-deal should be ruled out.

"Such a cliff edge exit from the European Union will have, we believe, a catastrophic impact on the economy and the people of Wales," he warned.

It came after Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price criticised Labour for not backing a further referendum on the EU outright.

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At Westminster, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns was not saying how he will vote on Wednesday evening on the no-deal motion.

UK Cabinet members will have a free vote, rather than being expected to toe the party line, avoiding government resignations.

Ahead of the vote, the government announced that most imports into the UK would not attract a tariff in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

If a no-deal exit is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on delaying Brexit by extending Article 50 - the legal mechanism that takes the UK out of the EU.

The EU has said it would need "a credible justification" before agreeing to any extension. Such a move would have to be agreed by every member state.

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