Brexit May in final push to convince MPs to back deal
Theresa May is making a final bid to save her Brexit deal ahead of a crunch Commons vote.
Battling a sore throat after late night talks with the EU, the prime minister urged MPs to back her “improved deal” or risk “no Brexit at all”.
But some leading Tory Brexiteers and the DUP, who keep her government in power, have rejected the deal.
They say the legal assurances secured by the PM are not enough to prevent the UK being tied permanently to the EU.
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Sir Bill Cash, a leading member of the European Research Group, said: “In the light of our own legal analysis and others we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today.”
Sir Bill was part of a panel of legally-trained panel of Brexiteer MPs who examined the PM’s revised deal, concluding that it did not deliver the binding changes MPs had demanded.
ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg said he had not yet decided which way to vote, as the group prepared to meet.
The DUP said in a statement that “sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time”.
With husband Philip watching from the public gallery, Mrs May made a final plea to MPs to “come together” and “prove beyond all doubt that democracy comes before party, faction or personal ambition”.
“This is the moment and this is the time,” she said.
“Back this motion and get the deal done, because only then can we get on with what we came here to do – what we were sent here to do.
“We cannot serve our country by overturning a democratic decision of the British people.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that “after three months of running down the clock” the prime minister had “achieved not a single change to the withdrawal agreement”.
He said it was the same “bad deal” MPs had rejected in January and Labour would be voting against it again because it “risks people’s living standards”, jobs and the NHS.
The last time Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement was put to Parliament in January, it was voted down by a margin of 230.
MPs will pass judgement on the revised version of her deal at about 7pm. Commons Speaker John Bercow did not select any of the amendments to the government motion that had been tabled by MPs. Read more