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Theresa May expected to make strongest case against another Brexit referendum

18 December, 2018, 12:30 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Theresa May sets out plan for January showdown on her Brexit deal			
   by David Hughes 

The prime minister said the Commons would have the chance to debate her withdrawal agreement in the week MPs return to Westminster after Christmas on January 7.

Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister had "obdurately refused" to follow through on the intial vote scheduled for December 11, instead postponing it until the new year.

But the Labour leader shelved the warning because May did include a date in her statement, confirming that the vote would be held the week commencing 14th January.

No 10 accused the Labour leader of a political "stunt", and said the Government would not allow parliamentary time for a vote.

Mrs May's authority was shaken after a no-confidence vote from her own party on Wednesday saw more than a third of Conservative politicians vote against her.

Ministers will be presented with three options at a meeting on Tuesday morning, to wind down preparations, keep them at a similar level or step up preparations, one cabinet source said, with the latter nearly certain to be chosen.

The PM said she was happy to meet Mr Blackford but warned they would have a "fundamental difference of opinion" on Brexit.

The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said a full motion of no confidence would be tabled "when it's clear to the country the government has failed decisively".

Labour's motion was not put forward under legislation that determines when the United Kingdom holds general elections, and would not have collapsed the government.

She is running out of options as time runs short for clinching a deal with the EU.

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He told her: "A responsible prime minister would for the good of this country put this deal before the House this week so we could move on from this Government's disastrous negotiation".

But Labour said it was clearly a confidence motion and should be allocated time for debate by the Government.

The communities secretary James Brokenshire said on Tuesday that it was "right and proper" for no-deal planning to be stepped up.

The Opposition claimed that Mr Corbyn's pressure had forced the Prime Minister to bring her deal back to Parliament, an assertion Downing Street said was "incorrect".

A motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister - as opposed to her government as a whole - is not necessarily legally binding.

"Government will simply ignore it - they can't ignore a motion of no confidence in the Government".

In remarks released ahead of her speech in the House of Commons on Monday, May says that staging another referendum "would say to millions who trusted in democracy that our democracy does not deliver". "Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last", she will say.

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

"But if we let the ideal be the enemy of the good then we risk leaving the European Union with no deal", she told lawmakers, her speech punctuated by loud shouts of protest.

On Monday, Mrs May's spokesman, James Slack, shot down calls for a Parliament vote on a range of options - from leaving without a deal to holding a new referendum.


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