Work with me, says May on Brexit

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May ap­pealed for unity in her rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive Party on Fri­day, amid pres­sure from both euroscep­tics and pro-eu rebels ahead of next week’s cru­cial vote on her Brexit leg­is­la­tion.

“I hope what ev­ery­body will see when they come to vote next week is the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing we get the EU With­drawal Bill onto the statute book, be­cause it’s that EU With­drawal Bill that will en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion when we leave the Euro­pean Union,” May said en route to the G7 sum­mit in Canada.

May faces po­ten­tial re­bel­lion from pro-eu Con­ser­va­tives when the bill re­turns to the Com­mons, West­min­ster’s main elected house, af­ter the un­elected up­per house, the Lords, passed 15 amend­ments.

She planned to speak to the 316 Con­ser­va­tive law­mak­ers in the 650seat Com­mons late to­mor­row be­fore the par­lia­men­tary de­bate opens on Tues­day.

May wrote to the Con­ser­va­tive law­mak­ers on Thurs­day af­ter her cab­i­net agreed a com­pro­mise pro­posal for a tem­po­rary “back­stop” ar­range­ment to main­tain free move­ment of goods and peo­ple across the Ir­ish bor­der.

She said the back­stop – which she in­sisted would only be used as a last re­sort if a cus­toms deal could be agreed be­fore Bri­tain leaves the EU in March – would be “un­palat­able but, at worst, tem­po­rary”.

May said a back­stop ar­range­ment would only run un­til the end of 2021 “at the very lat­est”.

Adding to the pres­sure ahead of next week’s vote, a re­port by the Lords’ cross-party Euro­pean Union Com­mit­tee on Fri­day ac­cused both May’s gov­ern­ment and the EU of ap­proach­ing the Brexit talks “with too great a fo­cus on ‘red lines’, in­creas­ing the risk that they will be left with­out an agree­ment on the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship”. – Dpa/african News Agency (ANA)


Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II opens The Queen’s Di­a­mond Ju­bilee Gal­leries at West­min­ster Abbey in Lon­don on Fri­day. Pub­lic view­ing starts to­mor­row.the new gal­leries are more than 16m above the abbey’s floor in the me­dieval Tri­fo­rium, an area never open to the pub­lic be­fore.

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