Wednesday, 24 July, 2019

Theresa May to bring Brexit withdrawal bill before Parliament in early June

Government Brexit talks with Labour face deadline Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn reach deal on Brexit with vote on June 3 - Daily Star
Deanna Wagner | 15 May, 2019, 16:12

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

It will be the fourth time that the House of Commons votes on May's Brexit deal, after rejecting it in each prior vote.

Cross-party talks between the Government and Labour will continue despite Tory opposition to Jeremy Corbyn's key demand.

A spokesman said Theresa May had made clear the government's "determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU".

After a marathon Cabinet meeting ministers agreed to continue the cross-party efforts but stressed it was "imperative" for a Brexit deal to get through Parliament by the summer recess.

The Prime Minister is understood to have requested the meeting, and also dispatched her chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins to Brussels for two days of talks about the possibility of making changes to the Political Declaration to strengthen protections for workers rights and request a say in future European Union trade deals for the UK.

MPs will be able to vote on amendments to the bill, and this could allow ministers to make good on any compromise they reach with Labour in the cross-party talks.

May has said she will step down once the first phase of Brexit is complete.

"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", his spokesman said.

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"We don't think there is a deal there yet", Labour economy spokesperson John McDonnell said.

The conversations with Labour had been "difficult", the spokesman said, but ministers were "determined to find a way through" the Brexit impasse.

However, she is under pressure from Brexiteers maneuvering against a compromise with Labour - with some Conservatives eyeing her position.

Labour have called for a permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU after Brexit, meaning there would be no internal tariffs (taxes) on goods sold between the United Kingdom and the rest of the bloc.

The signatories include Gavin Williamson, who she sacked as defence secretary, as well as potential leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab.

"We believe that a customs union-based deal with Labour will very likely lose the support of Conservative MPs, like us, who backed the Withdrawal Agreement in March (in many cases very reluctantly), and you be unlikely to gain as many Labour MPs to compensate", they said.

Talks on Tuesday evening between May and leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn "were both useful and constructive", he added.

"I have talked to colleagues, some of whom voted for it last time, and they think it is dead and they will vote against it this time", Peter Bone, a Conservative lawmaker and a prominent supporter of leaving the European Union, told Talk Radio. It would be followed by negotiations on a new trade deal with the EU.