Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

UK PM Theresa May to force second vote on Brexit deal

UK PM Theresa May to force second vote on Brexit deal

The Prime Minister is set to head back to Brussels in yet another attempt to secure concessions from the EU on the deal - something EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has repeatedly said he is not willing to do.

Mrs May could resign as leader of the Conservative Party, triggering an internal contest to replace her without a general election.

Tory assistant whip Gareth Johnson, tasked with bringing rebels into line, quit yesterday as he opposes the deal himself.

In the Commons, the Prime Minister acknowledged the deal was "not perfect" but urged MPs who had come out against it to give it a "second look". "We must have the courage to vote down this lamentable deal and kill it off once and for all".

"On the rare occasions when Parliament puts a question to the British people directly we have always understood that their response carries a profound significance", Mrs May will say.

Sir Vince said this could happen by cancelling Article 50 - which he noted would be "resented by lots of people" - or via a second referendum. May will make a statement to parliament at about 1530 GMT, a government source said.

Despite releasing the correspondence in a bid to show that the European Union is still prepared to offer concessions to the UK, May lost another minister on Monday, after government whip Gareth Johnson resigned, saying that her deal would leave the UK "permanently constrained by the EU".

In a speech in Stoke this morning, she warned MPs the public's faith in democracy is at stake - if they vote down her Brexit deal tomorrow.

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The Prime Minister said the presidents' letter provided "valuable new clarifications and assurances" to address the concerns of MPs who fear the backstop, which is created to prevent a hard border in Ireland, could become a permanent arrangement which the United Kingdom could leave only with approval from the EU.

But Mr Corbyn said of the latest European Union letter: "It categorically does not give the legal assurances this House was promised and contains nothing but warm words and aspirations".

Chancellor Philip Hammond voiced his support for the prime minister on Twitter, saying he supported her efforts to "build a political consensus to deliver a negotiated Brexit deal". Instead, they offered to review the backstop plan every six months if it is enforced, and to look at new technologies that could facilitate a free Irish border. The EU wants to ensure it would "only be in place for as long as strictly necessary".

She announced she would close the debate Tuesday night ahead of what is seen as the most crucial vote in the House of Commons since the end of World War II. And then, in the 2017 General Election, 80% of you voted for MPs who stood on manifestos to respect that referendum result. They had issues with immigration and freedom of movement.but above all, I think they were hoping that they would get something better out of the Brexit deal.

Analysts at Rabobank point out that in the UK, PM May will be putting her deal to Parliament and Parliament is either going to agree it, in which case much of the hard work of the first phase of Brexit is "done", and GBP will soar; or it is going to crash and burn, plunging us into chaos, and GBP with it.

She is expected to reiterate her warning that "catastrophic harm" will be inflicted to trust in politicians if they fail to implement the result of the referendum.

Given the likely defeat of the deal, possibly by a margin of 200 in the 650-seat chamber, speculation is now rising that May will ask the remaining 27 European Union states to extend Article 50 in the hope of securing broader support among opposing and even dissenting MPs from within her own conservative party. She also sought to win opposition Labour Party lawmakers' support for her Brexit deal by promising that her Conservative government won't try to water down environmental standards and workers' rights after Brexit.

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