May still hoping for vote on her Brexit deal

Photo: AFP

The leader of the House of Commons says Britain’s government still hopes to bring Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal back to Parliament for a vote this week.

Andrea Leadsom told the BBC on Wednesday that there is a “real possibility” the agreement will be considered on Thursday or Friday.

She says “we’re completely determined to make sure that we can get enough support to bring it back.” She added that the deal is the only way to guarantee Britain leaves the EU.

Some opponents say they may now vote for the deal amid fears parliamentary deadlock will lead to Brexit being delayed or abandoned.

Brexit supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg says May’s deal is still a bad one, but “the risk is, if I don’t back it, we don’t leave the EU at all.”

UK lawmakers vote to take control of Brexit process

British MPs voted on Monday to play a bigger role in Brexit, giving themselves the power to express their preference for different options in an unprecedented move that the government called "dangerous".

MPs won a vote that will allow them to seize control of parliamentary business on Wednesday by 329 to 302, with three junior ministers quitting after voting against the government.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt and health minister Steve Brine resigned, a government source told AFP, while business minister Richard Harrington announced his decision to leave government on Twitter.

In his resignation letter, Harrington said the government's approach was "playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country".

But the Brexit ministry said in a statement it was "disappointed" by the vote, adding that it "upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent".

Three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Monday's vote sets up a potentially crucial clash between government and parliament on the best way of ending a bitter political crisis.

MPs will now have the chance to vote on various options, such as revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit, holding another referendum, a deal including a customs union and single market membership or leaving the EU without a deal.

But even if MPs decide a majority course of action, the government is not legally bound to follow their instructions.

Comments

Comments