Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Theresa May to bring Brexit bill back for fourth vote in June

British Prime Minister met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for cross-party talks on Tuesday evening

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has brought forward the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill to the week beginning the June 3. AFP
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has brought forward the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill to the week beginning the June 3. AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to take her Brexit deal to the House of Commons in June for a fourth vote, earlier than planned.

Mrs May met Labour Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn for cross-party talks on Tuesday evening. A Downing Street spokesman said the discussions were “useful and constructive”.

“This evening the Prime Minister met the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU,” the spokesman said.

“We will therefore be bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning June 3.”

The spokesman said it was imperative to bring the bill forward to ensure the UK was ready to leave the EU before the summer parliamentary recess.

Mrs May's Brexit plans have suffered three humiliating defeats in Commons as MPs show no sign of breaking the impasse.

“Tomorrow talks will continue at an official level as we seek the stable majority in Parliament that will ensure the safe passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the UK’s swift exit from the EU,” the spokesman said.

Commenting on the talks, a Labour party spokesperson said Mr Corbyn raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Tory MPs seeking to replace the prime minister.

"Jeremy Corbyn made clear the need for further movement from the government, including on entrenchment of any commitments," the spokesperson added.

There have been doubts that the two parties were going to reach an agreement and MPs from both sides have urged their leaders to stop the talks.

Labour has criticised Mrs May for sticking to her “red lines”, most notably on trade with the EU.

But she has said that by staying in the Customs union, Britain will be unable to strike trade deals.

Labour insiders claim deputy leader Tom Watson could launch a coup within days if Mr Corbyn struck a deal with Mrs May that was not voted on by the party, The Times reported on Sunday.

“There has been lots of chatter for months about the idea of Labour MPs resigning en masse if Corbyn backs away from a second referendum," a senior Labour source said.

"But it’s clear as day to many of us that there will be an internal challenge for the leadership first, before there is any kind of further break away from the party.”

Updated: May 15, 2019 02:04 AM

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