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Rebels hope to kill off May's Brexit deal in 'last-chance' vote

Wednesday 15/May/2019 - 07:16 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Mohamed Emad

Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to parliament next month، according to Reuters.

Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29 but parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement May struck with Brussels. The United Kingdom is now scheduled to leave، with or without a deal to smooth the exit، by Oct. 31.

Defeat in the vote would likely spell the end of May’s divorce deal and probably her premiership.

May will bring a Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB)، which implements the departure terms، to parliament for a vote in the week beginning June 3، Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay said، just as U.S. President Donald Trump begins a divisive state visit to Britain.

“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 Brexit supporter، told Talk Radio. “It seems absurd to bring it back. It is the same thing again، again and again.”

May، who became prime minister in the chaos that followed the 2016 referendum in which Britons voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU، is under pressure from some of her own lawmakers to set a date for her departure.

As well as the Brexit deadlock، the Conservative Party suffered major losses in local elections this month and is trailing in opinion polls ahead of the May 23 European Parliament elections.

Her spokesman declined to say on Wednesday whether May would resign if she failed again to win parliamentary support for her Brexit deal.

Asked by a committee of lawmakers from the upper house of parliament if this was “the last chance saloon” for May’s divorce deal، Barclay said: “If the House of Commons does not approve the WAB، then the Barnier deal is dead in that form.” He was referring to the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Barclay said that would leave parliament with the choice of revoking the decision to leave the EU or exiting without a deal، the default position if no divorce agreement can be reached.

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