Theresa May: Second EU referendum would do ‘irreparable damage’

Dec 17, 2018, 19:35
Theresa May: Second EU referendum would do ‘irreparable damage’

Labour later confirmed the no confidence motion threat was pulled after hearing Mrs May's statement, which included setting a date for the Brexit deal vote.

The Labour leader is threatening the motion unless the Prime Minister sets a date for the vote on her Brexit deal today.

But even as May insisted she could salvage her unpopular European Union divorce deal, pressure was mounting for dramatic action - a new referendum or a vote among lawmakers - to find a way out of Britain's Brexit impasse.

A Labour source has indicated the motion would be targeted at Mrs May personally, rather than the Government.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox also ruled out a second referendum, but said he would be willing to have lawmakers play a greater role in sifting though alternatives to May's deal if it's unable to win enough votes in Parliament.

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Five other Cabinet ministers including Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd are also said to be pushing Mrs May to hold a series of "indicative votes" in the Commons.

European Union officials insist the withdrawal agreement can not be renegotiated, but May's office says negotiators from the two sides are still holding talks about potential "clarification" of the deal.

The said the postponement of the vote has exposed the "chaos at the heart of this shambolic government" in a savage assessment of her handling of Brexit. "Officials know the prospect of a People's Vote is being discussed not just in Westminster but in the corridors of Whitehall too".

May's office said she will tell lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday that staging another referendum "would say to millions who trusted in democracy that our democracy does not deliver".

May accused Blair of insulting voters and trying to undermine her government with calls for a second referendum to break the political deadlock over the divorce deal she struck with the EU.

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Labour will try to force a Brexit vote before Christmas, shadow communities minister Andrew Gwynne has said.

She has previously suggested that a Norway-plus deal, with the United Kingdom in both a customs union and the single market, could be a "plausible" alternative.

But she added: "After that we need to find out where the will of Parliament is, where the majority of MPs will vote in Parliament and nothing should be off the table, we should consider all options".

At the same time, May's Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell has said that holding a second referendum was "the only way forward". She said the vote would be held the following week.

The Sunda Rimes reports come after May said Friday that she would continue negotiations with Brussels on the future Brexit agreement in order to obtain additional guarantees for the deal, which are necessary for approval in the UK Parliament.

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