Prime Minister Theresa May set out on Tuesday a “new deal” for Britain’s departure from the European Union, offering sweeteners to opposition parties in her fourth attempt to break an impasse in parliament over Brexit. Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months after the planned departure date, May is mounting a last bid to try to get the deeply divided parliament’s backing for a divorce deal and leave office with some kind of legacy. The odds do not look good. Despite offering what she described as “significant further changes”, many lawmakers, hardened in their positions, have already decided not to vote next month for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, legislation which implements the terms of Britain’s departure. Speaking at the headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers, May appealed to lawmakers to get behind her deal, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives. “I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise,” she said. “We have been given a clear instruction by the people we are supposed to represent, so help me find a way to honour that instruction, move our country and our politics and build the better future that all of us want to see.” By offering the possibility of holding a second vote on her deal and a compromise on customs arrangements, May hopes to win over opposition Labour lawmakers, whose votes she
Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to parliament next month. Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29 but parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement May struck with Brussels. The United Kingdom is now scheduled to leave, with or without a deal to smooth the exit, by Oct. 31. Defeat in the vote would likely spell the end of May’s divorce deal and probably her premiership. May will bring a Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which implements the departure terms, to parliament for a vote in the week beginning June 3, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said, just as U.S. President Donald Trump begins a divisive state visit to Britain. “I have talked to colleagues, some of whom voted for it last time, and they think it is dead and they will vote against it this time,” Peter Bone, a Conservative lawmaker and Brexit supporter, told Talk Radio. “It seems absurd to bring it back. It is the same thing again, again and again.” May, who became prime minister in the chaos that followed the 2016 referendum in which Britons voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, is under pressure from some of her own lawmakers to set a date for her departure. As well as the Brexit deadlock, the Conservative Party suffered major losses in local elections this month and is trailing in opinion
Prime Minister Theresa May could reach a Brexit deal with the opposition Labour Party within days, a leading Conservative Party figure said on Saturday, after senior ministers urged compromise following poor local election results.
Ruth Davidson, the Conservatives’ leader in Scotland, told party members that a cross-partisan agreement on Brexit was needed before this month’s European elections, or Britain’s major parties would face an even bigger backlash from voters.
The Conservatives lost 1,332 seats on English local councils that were up for re-election, and Labour - which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote - instead lost 81.
Many voters expressed frustration at May’s failure to have taken Britain out of the European Union, almost three years after the country decided to leave in a referendum.
“If we thought yesterday’s results were a wake-up call, just wait for the European elections on the 23rd of May,” Davidson told a party conference in Aberdeen.
A British government minister will be called to parliament on Thursday to answer a question on the findings of an inquiry into the disclosure of confidential information relating to Chinese telecoms company Huawei, the opposition Labour Party said. Prime Minister Theresa May fired her defense minister Gavin Williamson on Wednesday over a leak of discussions in the National Security Council. A Labour Party account tweeted that the question would be asked at 0930 GMT.
English voters are expected to use local government elections on Thursday to punish Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party over its failure to deliver Brexit, revealing a divided and dissatisfied electorate.
More than 8,000 seats on English councils - administrative bodies responsible for day-to-day decisions on local policy ranging from education to waste management - are up for grabs in the first elections since Britain missed its March 29 Brexit date.
The results will paint a picture, albeit an imperfect one, of how that has affected support for May’s centre-right Conservative Party, and the leftist opposition Labour Party.
The Conservatives are forecast to lose hundreds of seats, and, according to one analysis, the final toll could top 1,000. Labour, which rejects May’s vision of Brexit but still supports leaving the bloc, are expected to make gains, as are the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats.