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Brexit: PM under fire over new Brexit plan

Theresa May will make the case for her new Brexit plan in Parliament later, amid signs that Conservative opposition to her leadership is hardening.

The prime minister will outline changes to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill – including a promise to give MPs a vote on holding another referendum.

But shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the offer was “too weak”.

Some senior Tories will today ask party bosses for a rule change to allow a no-confidence vote in her leadership.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove defended the PM’s plan, urging MPs to “take a little bit of time and step back” to “reflect” on the detail of the bill – due to be published later today.

Fellow cabinet minister and prominent Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom said she was “looking very carefully at the legislation” and “making sure that it delivers Brexit”

MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU three times, and attempts to find a formal compromise with Labour have failed.

On Tuesday, the prime minister asked MPs to take “one last chance” to deliver a negotiated exit – or risk Brexit not happening at all.

But several Tory MPs have criticised her plan. Among them, Nigel Evans will today urge party bosses on the 1922 committee to change party rules to allow for an immediate vote of no-confidence in Mrs May.

Because the PM survived such a vote in December, the current rules say she cannot face another for 12 months.

The committee has said ‘no’ to such a change before.

But Labour has said it is not willing to back the bill at second reading, meaning it could fail at its first parliamentary hurdle.

And some Conservative MPs who backed Theresa May the last time she tried to get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament in March said they could no longer support her.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries said all scenarios led to Mrs May resigning, telling the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire: “I see no way out for the prime minister. I think we might be reaching the end game finally for [Mrs May].”

Meanwhile, Sammy Wilson, the Brexit spokesman for the DUP – whose support the government relies on to get its laws passed – said his party would “not accept this flawed agreement” that they believe would split Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

He told Today: “We have been through all of this before with the prime minister in the negotiations to date. It has been accepted by the government that [there] are flaws they cannot give an answer to.

“We will not vote for our own destruction.”

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