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Theresa May rejects cabinet pleas to postpone Brexit vote

07 December, 2018, 13:46 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May during a debate on the Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons in London on Dec 4 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May today said if parliament does not vote for her deal next Tuesday it either risked a no-deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.

The bleak picture has prompted Cabinet ministers and leading Brexiteers to plead with Mrs May to exploit Dublin's position before Tuesday's vote, The Times reported.

"The vote will take place on Tuesday as planned", May's spokeswoman said.

"The agreement that is on the table - the withdrawal agreement and the agreement on the future relationship - are, in our view, the only and best possible to organise an orderly withdrawal", he said.

The vote, passed by 311 votes to 293, is the first time in history Parliament has held a Government in contempt. He said: 'The idea there's an option of renegotiating at the 11th hour is simply a delusion.

"I will therefore be voting against this deal and will be trying to ensure Brexit is properly and fully delivered". "Either will leave us a fractured society and a divided nation".

In one potential concession, May said that she recognised there were concerns among lawmakers about the Northern Irish backstop and that she was looking at whether parliament could be given a greater role in deciding whether to trigger it.

As the parliamentary debate plays out over the next few days, there are numerous scenarios being thrown up if the premier is unable to get support for her deal in the crucial December 11 vote.

"Despite statements in the Protocol that it is not meant to be permanent and the clear intention of the parties that it should be replaced by alternative, permanent arrangements, in global law the Protocol would endure indefinitely until a superseding agreement took its place", the advice said.

Many lawmakers were also angry over being shown what they described as a summary, not the full legal advice on May's Brexit deal which her government had seen.

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It is a key condition of the continued support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up May's minority government.

It seems to confirm the fears of opponents of May's deal that the backstop would tie Britain indefinitely to European Union rules, despite leaving the 28-member economic bloc.

Former foreign minister and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said May was wrong to say parliament might be able to choose whether to trigger the backstop or extend a transition period, under which more European Union membership terms would apply.

And it prompts understandable alarm about the pledge for parliament to "take back control" of decision-making after Brexit.

We asked people the question; they gave us the answer.

"In the implementation period, we still have to negotiate the terms, but there will be concerns about the fact that they would require, I'm sure they would require, some more money to be paid, for example".

A group of lawmakers who want a more definitive break from the European Union than envisaged by May's plan said the government had invited senior lawmakers to a briefing on Thursday at its emergency planning body on the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

The DUP's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said it would be "illogical" for his party to turn on the Tories if it had already seen off the Brexit deal.

Mr Hussain (Bradford East) said: "After a miserable two years of negotiations, all that the Prime Minister has brought back is a dog's dinner of a deal that fails to protect jobs, workplace rights and environmental standards, and compromises our security".

May has toured the country and television studios to try to sell her deal, and on Thursday she used an interview on BBC radio to press on with her bid to persuade lawmakers to back her deal.


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