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

Posted On: 
14th May 2019

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.

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May met for an hour in the Commons.
Credit: 
PA Images

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.

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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."