May says the 'danger' is ending up with 'no Brexit at all'

Andrew Cummings
January 7, 2019

Ex-Labour cabinet minister Yvette Cooper is at the head of a group of select committee leaders who have tabled an amendment which will see the Treasury's no-deal powers stripped if a hard Brexit goes ahead without the consent of MPs.

The Democratic Unionist Party's statement followed a recent interview by the United Kingdom prime minister, where she expressed hope of solving the main issues surrounding the Brexit deal in the coming days.

On Sunday, Ms. May reiterated her opposition to holding a second referendum, saying it would be divisive and disrespectful to those who voted to leave in the initial vote, and also highlighted a lack of time available to hold a new referendum.

But parliamentary opposition to her deal remains fierce, with the main sticking point being the safety net "backstop" measure - which would guarantee no hard border is erected on the island of Ireland in the event that post-Brexit trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and the bloc prove unsuccessful.

The survey of more than 25,000 voters also showed that 41 percent of Britons thought the final decision about Brexit should be made by a new public vote versus 36 percent who believe it should be up to parliament.

A senior Government source added that Ms Cooper's amendments would be "the first of many" attempts to stop a no deal Brexit should MPs vote down Mrs May's unpopular EU Withdrawal Agreement in the week beginning January 15th.

"The debate will start next week and it will carry on until the following week", she said.

May has already delayed the vote once, in December, when it became clear she would lose unless extra reassurances from the European Union were agreed.

Britain is due leave the European Union on March 29, but Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to get her exit deal approved by parliament, opening up huge uncertainty over whether a deal is possible, or even whether the country will leave at all.

Under forceful questioning from the BBC, May said that there should not be a second referendum.

"When MPs come to look at this vote, they need to ask themselves: Does this deal deliver on the referendum?"

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, May pledged to set out new measures to address the contentious Northern Irish "backstop" clause in her withdrawal plans in a bid to win over sceptical legislators.

"I don't think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament". The Irish prime minister said earlier that his country had stepped up preparations for a no-deal scenario.

Mr Gardiner insisted that a Labour government would be able to get a "different, better deal" to the one secured by Mrs May as it would not have the same red lines.

"At that stage it makes sense to go to the country and say, "Here we are, this is what we have managed to negotiate.we think it's a better way forward", he said.

"And it seems to me, at a personal level. that is the time when we would then say to people, "Now make your decision on what we have managed to conclude".

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