Theresa May promises 'bold offer' in last-ditch bid to win support for Brexit deal

Posted On: 
19th May 2019

Theresa May has promised to make MPs a "bold offer" in a last-ditch effort to get them to back her Brexit deal.

Theresa May's intervention came as a fresh poll put the Brexit Party on course for an EU elections triumph.
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister said she would "not be simply asking MPs to think again" about the same deal they have rejected three times when the Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes up for a vote next month.

The pledge comes in spite of Labour pulling the plug on long-running talks with the Government aimed at thrashing out changes to the Brexit deal.

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Writing in the Sunday Times, Mrs May defended the ill-fated discussions with Jeremy Corbyn, saying she had done the "serious thing" and insisting that the Government now had "a much clearer understanding of what it will take to get a deal over the line".

She said the two sides had been "able to find common ground" on a host of issues including "on rights and protections for workers and the environment, and on security" - but argued that Labour remained "split" on whether or not to include plans for a second referendum in the bill.

And she promised: "When the Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes before MPs, it will represent a new, bold offer to MPs across the House of Commons, with an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support."

'FRESH PAIRS OF EYES'

Although Mrs May's latest article does not spell out what the "bold" plan entails, she makes clear that the Cabinet will consider the proposals next week.

Cabinet, she said, would "also consider whether holding votes in parliament to test support for possible solutions would be a useful prelude to MPs considering the legislation".

"But whatever the outcome of any votes, I will not be simply asking MPs to think again," Mrs May added.

"Instead I will ask them to look at a new and improved deal with fresh pairs of eyes - and to give it their support."

The Mail on Sunday meanwhile reports that the Prime Minister will make a speech in a Leave-supporting constituency ahead of Thursday's European elections urging MPs to back her.

The latest Opinium poll for the Observer has the Conservatives languishing behind Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party, Labour, and the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats ahead of the EU vote.

The poll puts the Brexit Party on 34%, with Labour in second place on 20%, the Liberal Democrats on 15% and the Tories on 12%.

BARCLAY: NO-DEAL PLANNING WILL MOVE 'AT PACE'

Mrs May's latest intervention intervention came as Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay warned that the Government would have to again ramp up planning for a no-deal exit from the European Union if MPs vote against the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge: "Members of Parliament do need to face facts, and if the deal were not to go through then there are only two alternatives - you either leave with a no-deal or you revoke.

"If parliament won't back a deal, I do think we need to bring forward our preparations to mitigate no-deal, because we will need to use the additional time we have, and we need to move at pace to do so."