Warn­ing against re­jec­tion of brexit

May says such a move would be “cat­a­strophic.”

The Times-Tribune - - NATION & WORLD - BY DAN­ICA KIRKA

LON­DON — British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May warned Sun­day that law­mak­ers risk un­der­min­ing the pub­lic’s faith in democ­racy if they re­ject her divorce deal with the Euro­pean Union in a vote set for Tues­day.

May said some mem­bers of Par­lia­ment were play­ing po­lit­i­cal games with the Brexit de­bate. Law­mak­ers, she said, should re­spect the re­sults of the 2016 ref­er­en­dum in which 52 per­cent of vot­ers backed leav­ing the EU.

Fail­ing to do so “would be a cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy,” she wrote in a com­men­tary pub­lished by 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.”

The gov­ern­ment also tried to pres­sure re­sis­tant law­mak­ers by say­ing their re­fusal to fall in line could re­sult in Bri­tain re­main­ing a mem­ber of the EU. Brexit Sec­re­tary Steve Bar­clay warned Sun­day of the grow­ing risk that Par­lia­ment could block Brexit al­to­gether.

The prime min­is­ter’s of­fice also said it was “ex­tremely con­cerned” about re­ports that some mem­bers of Par­lia­ment would try to seize con­trol of Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions if the agree­ment May’s gov­ern­ment reached with the EU is de­feated.

The Sun­day Times news­pa­per re­ported that se­nior law­mak­ers in­tend to try to change the rules of the House of Com­mons so they can wrest con­trol of the leg­isla­tive agenda from the gov­ern­ment.

The prime min­is­ter faces wide­spread op­po­si­tion to the ex­ist­ing agree­ment, pri­mar­ily be­cause of lan­guage de­signed to pre­vent the rein­tro­duc­tion of phys­i­cal bor­der con­trols be­tween North­ern Ire­land, which is part of the U.K., and the Repub­lic of Ire­land, a mem­ber of the EU.

Law­mak­ers on all sides of the Brexit de­bate fear the so­called North­ern Ire­land back­stop could leave Bri­tain tied to the EU in­def­i­nitely.

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