U.K. PRIME MIN­IS­TER SAYS HALT­ING BREXIT WOULD BE ‘CAT­A­STROPHIC’ FOR DEMOC­RACY

The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - NEWS -

LON­DON British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May warned law­mak­ers on Sun­day that fail­ing to de­liver Brexit would be cat­a­strophic for democ­racy, in a plea for sup­port two days be­fore Par­lia­ment is ex­pected to re­ject her deal with Brus­sels.

With the clock tick­ing down to its March 29 exit from the Euro­pean Union, and Par­lia­ment dead­locked, Bri­tain faces a hugely un­cer­tain path that could lead to a dis­or­derly exit or even re­main­ing in the bloc.

Ms. May, who postponed a vote in Par­lia­ment on her deal in De­cem­ber after ad­mit­ting she was set to lose it, said law­mak­ers must not let down the peo­ple who backed Brexit in a June, 2016 ref­er­en­dum.

“Do­ing so would be a cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy,” she wrote in the Sun­day Ex­press.

“So my mes­sage to Par­lia­ment this week­end is sim­ple: it is time to for­get the games and do what is right for our coun­try.”

Ms. May has so far re­fused to re­treat from her un­pop­u­lar deal, which en­vis­ages close trad­ing ties with the EU, but with­out any say on pol­icy as Bri­tain has now. The Brexit is­sue rep­re­sents Bri­tain’s big­gest shift in for­eign and trade pol­icy in more than 40 years.

Ms. May’s deal has come un­der fire from all sides – with op­po­nents of the EU seek­ing a cleaner break and many pro-Euro­peans press­ing for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

Brexit min­is­ter Stephen Bar­clay told BBC TV that per­suad­ing enough law­mak­ers to sup­port the deal would be “chal­leng­ing” but that, even if it were re­jected, he sus­pected Par­lia­ment would ul­ti­mately sup­port some­thing “along the lines of this deal.”

Op­po­si­tion Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn said leav­ing the EU with­out a deal would be cat­a­strophic and his party would do ev­ery­thing it could to pre­vent that out­come.

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