UK PM offers MPs chance for 2nd referendum if they support Brexit deal

Credit: Sky News

The UK Prime Minister has said that MPs will be given a vote on holding a second referendum if they support the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Mrs May said this would mean that MP’s would have, ‘one last chance’ to actually deliver the Brexit.

It is understood that the new bill includes a number of guarantees for worker’s rights, the Irish Backstop, a customs ‘compromise’ and environmental protections.

However, she stressed that if MPs did not support the bill, the chance of an orderly exit would effectively be ‘dead in the water.’ This may also mean an end to Brexit.

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The PM was delivering her latest proposal in a speech in London where she described the ongoing stalemate as having a negative impact for the UK and ultimately stilting the growth and progress in various areas.

She stated that the, ‘biggest problem with Britain today is its politics,’ but stressed that this could be fixed.

‘We are making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament. That is the only way to deliver Brexit,’ she added.

Guarantees, compromises, legal duties

According to the Prime Minister’s new proposal, there would be a vote a variety of different customs options including a temporary union, something Mrs May calls a ‘customs compromise’

With the issue of the Northern Irish Backstop, the Prime Minister presents that there is a legal obligation on the UK to develop an alternative to the current arrangement by the end of next year (2020).

She stated that should the backstop actually be enforced, the bill voted on by the Parliament would ensure that the region would remain aligned to the UK thus avoiding it turning into an independent customs territory.

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The Prime Minister also states that there will be legislation put in place to protect the rights and conditions of workers following Brexit.

There is also a proposal put forward calling for a legal obligation to push for changes to the current political declaration which would chart the future relationship with the EU.

Regarding a second referendum, Mrs May also states that there will be a guarantee to MPs that they will be able to have a vote on a second referendum before the final Brexit agreement is solid. The government would accept the outcome of this referendum, the PM states.

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Fourth time lucky?

This will be the fourth time that MPs have been given a vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit withdrawal agreement.

One three previous occasions, the Prime Minister has attempted to get her negotiated deal with the EU through the UK Parliament, only to have it defeated each time.

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The UK has so far been offered two extensions to allow the government and MPs time to straighten out their differences over the deal that the EU says can’t be renegotiated.

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The UK has been given until the 31st October to agree the deal and make an orderly departure from the European Union.

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Flawed still?

Responding to the proposals, the Conservative Party’s coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party argues that the proposals put forward remain ‘fundamentally flawed.’ Equally, one of the Conservative Party’s key Brexiteers Iain Duncan Smith viewed the latest proposal as a ‘bad buffet of non Brexit options.’

The Scottish National Party and the independent party Change UK, have both said they will vote against the bill.

Concluding her speech, the Prime Minister said her deal would protect what people voted for in the 2016 Referendum but stressed that she had compromised for MPs, ‘now I ask you to compromise too.’

The Prime Minister is expected to deliver this new set of proposals to the Parliament in early June.