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World & Nation

British lawmakers vow to reject Theresa May’s ‘one last chance’ for Brexit deal

British PM May Sets Out New Brexit Proposal, London, United Kingdom - 21 May 2019
British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech setting out a new proposal for her Brexit deal in London.
(Chris Ratcliffe / EPA/Shutterstock )

Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday urged lawmakers to seize “one last chance” to approve a deal for Britain to leave the European Union, after they rejected her Brexit deal three times.

But senior lawmakers in her own Conservative Party and from opposition parties disparaged May’s offer and said they planned to vote against the deal.

“The prime minister’s latest proposals are worse than before and would leave us bound deeply in to the EU,” tweeted influential right-winger Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads a group of some 80 euroskeptic Conservative lawmakers.

“It is time to leave on WTO terms,” Rees-Mogg wrote, referring to the default position of using World Trade Organization rules in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Many of the concessions announced by May appeared to be aimed at lawmakers from the main opposition party, Labor, including a parliamentary vote on whether the country should hold a second referendum on leaving the EU.

But Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would also oppose the revised deal.

“We cannot support this bill, because it’s basically a rehash of what was discussed before,” Corbyn told the BBC. “I can’t see how it can get through Parliament.”

Liberal Democrat lawmaker Ed Davey told the broadcaster that he was not convinced by May’s offer of a vote on holding a second Brexit referendum because there was “no cast-iron guarantee” attached.

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Speaking to reporters at No. 10 Downing St., May warned that lawmakers opposing her deal, expected to be presented to Parliament early next month, would be “voting to stop Brexit” and failing to deliver the result of the 2016 referendum.

Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader in Parliament, noted that May also promised to make a statement to lawmakers on Wednesday.

“She is supposed to do that in Parliament before speaking outside,” Blackford tweeted, adding that May’s conduct was “utterly disrespectful and a breach of convention.”

Blackford said the SNP’s lawmakers will also vote against May’s deal.

May’s Cabinet backed her amended plan earlier Tuesday.

In a bid to win over opposition lawmakers, she promised protections to employment rights and environmental standards after Brexit, and gave a commitment to a temporary customs union with the European Union.

“I knew that delivering Brexit was not going to be simple or straightforward,” she said.

“While it has proved even harder than I anticipated, I continue to believe that the best way to make a success of Brexit is to negotiate a good exit deal with the EU as the basis of a new deep and special partnership for the future.”

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May agreed with senior members of her Conservative Party last week to set a timetable to step down as party leader once Parliament has voted on her EU withdrawal bill.

She held six weeks of talks with Labor in a bid to ease the Brexit deal through Parliament, but the two sides announced on Friday that the talks had ended.

On Tuesday, May said those talks had made progress but “were not enough for Labor to reach an agreement with us.”

“But I do not think that means we should give up,” she said.


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