Fri, 31 March 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Mission Zero: Why the Skidmore Review can kickstart the nation’s journey to net zero Partner content
New guidance empowers construction clients to help drive up standards, collaboration, innovation and value Partner content
How can the UK turbocharge its ambition to be a science and technology superpower? Partner content
By Chris Hayward
Press releases

Theresa May vows to give MPs fresh Brexit vote next month even without Labour deal

Theresa May vows to give MPs fresh Brexit vote next month even without Labour deal
3 min read

MPs will be given a fresh vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal within three weeks - even if the Government fails to strike a deal with Labour.

Downing Street has confirmed that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill - the legislation needed to confirm the UK's departure from the EU - will be introduced to the Commons at the start of June.

The announcement followed "useful and constructive" talks between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday evening.

But it is understood the Labour leader made clear that his party will not support the WAB unless a compromise agreement between both sides is reached in advance.

Mrs May's move marks a dramatic shift in strategy, as previously Number 10 has insisted the bill would only be introduced if the Government believed there was a majority for it in the Commons.

Without Labour support - and with eurosceptic Tories and the DUP still vehemently opposed to the Withdrawal Agreement she negotiated with Brussels -  the likelihood is that it would be defeated.

However, the Prime Minister will hope it will be enough to satisfy Tory MPs demanding she sets out a timetable for her departure from Number 10.

Talks between the Government and Labour aimed at agreeing a Brexit deal have been going on for six weeks without any sign of a breakthrough.

The main stumbling block is Labour demand for a permanent customs union with the EU, as well as a guarantee that any agreement cannot be ripped up by Mrs May's successor as Tory leader.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "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.

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

"It is imperative we do so then if the UK is to leave the EU before the summer Parliamentary recess. Talks this evening between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition were both useful and constructive.

"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."

A Labour party spokesperson said: "Jeremy Corbyn set out the Shadow Cabinet's concerns about the Prime Minister's ability to deliver on any compromise agreement. 

"In particular he raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Conservative MPs and Cabinet ministers 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 Prime Minister’s team agreed to bring back documentation and further proposals tomorrow."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe


Brexit Economy
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now