Scup­per­ing Brexit would be cat­a­strophic, May warns MPs

PAR­LIA­MENT TO VOTE ON PM’S WITH­DRAWAL AGREE­MENT TO­MOR­ROW

Gulf News - - World -

British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May yes­ter­day warned MPs ready to re­ject her EU divorce deal next week that fail­ing to de­liver Brexit would be a “cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy”.

May is fight­ing doggedly to save her with­drawal agree­ment — forged dur­ing 18 months of gru­elling ne­go­ti­a­tions with Euro­pean lead­ers — from a crush­ing de­feat in par­lia­ment to­mor­row.

The em­bat­tled leader said some vot­ers in Bri­tain’s 2016 ref­er­en­dum on EU mem­ber­ship had trusted politi­cians “for the first time in decades” and law­mak­ers must not let them down by now scup­per­ing Brexit.

‘Breach of trust’

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

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

Bri­tain is set to leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29 but, with less than 11 weeks left, has yet to fi­nalise the terms of its de­par­ture.

May’s deal agrees a 21-month tran­si­tion pe­riod un­der cur­rent terms while the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the bloc is ne­go­ti­ated, but it has drawn stead­fast op­po­si­tion from both Brex­i­teers and Re­main­ers.

The prime min­is­ter has said re­ject­ing it will throw Bri­tain into “un­charted ter­ri­tory” and put the coun­try at risk of crash­ing out with­out an agree­ment, or even no Brexit at all.

The op­po­si­tion Labour Party has sug­gested it will seek a no­con­fi­dence vote in the gov­ern­ment if MPs throw out the plan.

The Ob­server news­pa­per re­ported yes­ter­day that its law­mak­ers have been told it could be tabled “within hours” of that to­mor­row, with the con­fi­dence vote to be held the fol­low­ing day.

If the gov­ern­ment loses a no­con­fi­dence mo­tion, there will be a pe­riod of 14 days in which par­ties can seek to find an al­ter­na­tive work­ing ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment. If they fail to do so, a gen­eral elec­tion would be called.

“We will ta­ble a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment at a time of our choos­ing, but it’s go­ing to be soon, don’t

[Re­ject­ing the deal] would be a cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy. So my mes­sage to par­lia­ment this week­end is sim­ple: it is time to for­get the games and do what is right for our coun­try.” Theresa May | British Prime Min­is­ter

We will ta­ble a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment at a time of our choos­ing, but it’s go­ing to be soon, don’t worry about it.” Jeremy Cor­byn | Op­po­si­tion Labour leader

worry about it,” Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn told the BBC.

Cor­byn con­ceded if the party won power, par­lia­ment would likely need to de­lay Brexit be­yond March 29 so it could rene­go­ti­ate the with­drawal agree­ment.

The prime min­is­ter al­ready postponed a House of Com­mons vote on her plan in De­cem­ber to avoid de­feat — and MPs look set to re­ject it again.

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