Thursday, 17 January, 2019

UK's May to Warn Against 'Damage' of Second Brexit Vote

We’ll remove Theresa May next year’ Attorney general plotted with ministers against PM – report British Prime Minister Theresa May reacts as she attends a news conference
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2019, 16:48

Corbyn also suggested May was trying to "run down the clock" as the UK's European Union departure date moves closer and tabled a motion of no confidence in the prime minister in a bid to force a vote on her Brexit deal this week.

She has said a delayed vote on her deal will take place in mid-January, prompting some lawmakers to accuse her of trying to force parliament into backing it by running close to the March 29 exit day.

But the Labour leader stopped short of bringing a motion of no confidence in the Government under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) which, if the Opposition won, could trigger a General Election.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday tabled a non-binding no-confidence vote in Mrs May after she told MPs they will get another chance to vote on her deal in the week beginning Jan 14.

The announcement came after the Prime Minister survived a no-confidence vote from her own party last week.

Despite the impending deadline, it is still unclear whether the United Kingdom will leave under the terms of a deal, with no deal, or even whether it will leave at all, after the European Court of Justice said Article 50 could be revoked unilaterally and continue as a full EU member without seeking approval from Brussels.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, on Monday said Britain was in "a constitutional crisis and the prime minister is the architect of it".

That idea was slapped down by Justice Secretary David Gauke, who said a so-called managed no-deal Brexit is not on offer from the EU.

British business groups have criticised politicians for focusing on in-fighting rather than preparing for Brexit, warning that there is not enough time to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

But remarkably, a similarly narrow majority of 51% also agree with the prime minister's argument that holding another Brexit referendum would break faith with the British people - 42% think it would not, while 7% are unsure.

The SNP's Ian Blackford, who signed the amendment, said: "It is clear the Prime Minister's tactic has been to run down the clock and deprive Parliament of any alternative to her deal". She will keep talking to the European Union, but now wants members of Parliament to be staring over the cliff edge when they vote. "Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last", May will say to lawmakers, according to extracts of her speech released in advance.

Ahead of the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary) on Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said: "I am confident that what we have agreed delivers for the whole of the UK".

Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland, Mr Clark said: "No deal is far from satisfactory but ministers are making preparations and we are getting reassurance".

Mrs May's official spokesman later told a Westminster media briefing that there were "no plans" to stage an indicative vote on a range of Brexit options, but did not definitively rule the option out.

It is understood that ministers at the weekly session of Cabinet at 10 Downing Street were presented with three options - to continue with the current policy of enacting no-deal plans when it became necessary on a case-by-case basis; to move to full implementation of the plans; or to scale back no-deal preparations.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated he could support MPs being given a free vote on Brexit options.

The government now has to authorise time to debate and vote on the motion - which, technically, they could refuse.