Work with me, says May on Brexit
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.