Tuesday, 21 May, 2019


UK: Theresa May to bring Brexit deal back to lawmakers in June

European Parliament election Nigel Farage fronts the Brexit Party
Bennie Garza | 15 May, 2019, 16:10

Her plans emerged after a lengthy meeting of the Cabinet set the start of the parliamentary summer recess in late July as the deadline for MPs to pass the much-delayed Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

With Theresa May's future linked to the passage of a Brexit deal, getting legislation through the Commons and Lords by the summer break could also pave the way for her departure from Number 10.

"What she (May) is working to do is to get a deal passed as soon as possible", the spokesman said.

At a marathon Cabinet meeting ministers agreed to continue the cross-party efforts despite Tory opposition, but stressed it was "imperative" for a Brexit deal to get through parliament by the summer.

The Withdrawal Agreement on the terms of the UK's exit, and a Political Declaration outlining a framework for future ties, had been negotiated by London and Brussels and approved by the 27 other European Union governments.

A spokesman said: "This evening the Prime Minister met the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU".

Ministers and the Labour frontbench are in their seventh week of talks in an attempt to reach consensus.

The Prime Minister was warned by senior Conservatives that she risks losing the "loyal middle" of the Tory party if she gives ground on the issue.

On Tuesday, 13 former Conservative Cabinet members as well as Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, wrote to May urging her not to agree to Labour's demand for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU. Raab was reportedly disgruntled at being sidelined in the negotiations in favor of Olly Robbins - a civil servant who's close to May.

Shailesh Vara, the junior Northern Ireland minister, became the first member of May's government to resign over the deal on Thursday.

Referring to the prospect of a new Tory leader tearing up any agreement, he added: "Our big problem now is, if we are going to march our troops in Parliament to the top of the hill to vote for a deal and then that's overturned within weeks, I think that would be a cataclysmic act of bad faith".

Truthfully I can not find a minister who thinks any of this will get Brexit across the line.

Ranil Jayawardena, parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, wrote in his resignation letter that the draft deal is not fair to those who voted to leave the European Union "taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money.

Not unless she comes to a deal with us and frankly, the signs are not good".

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, who resigned as foreign secretary over Brexit in July, set the ball rolling last week after he resigned as transport minister over what he called Theresa May's "delusional" Brexit plans.

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