May promises to resign if Tory MPs help deliver her Brexit plan

May promises to resign if Tory MPs help deliver her Brexit plan

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March 28, 2019 05:12:21

British Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs from her own party that she will stand down if her Brexit deal is delivered.

Key points:

  • MPs have eight options to vote on, including revoking Article 50
  • MPs have already wrestled control of the Brexit debate
  • The votes will be done privately

It is understood Mrs May told Conservative MPs she would quit “before the second phase of negotiations”, but put no timeline on a departure date from the top job.

“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to secure a smooth and orderly Brexit,” she was quoted as saying by Sky News.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” Mrs May said, in a statement later released from Downing Street.

“I know there is a desire for a new approach — and new leadership — in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

It comes as British MPs prepare to consider a range of alternatives about how to tackle the Brexit quandary.

Wednesday night’s (local time) series of indicative votes on eight options will attempt to form a consensus from parliament on what the next steps will be on its exit from the EU.

Any of the options that gain the support of more than half of MPs will be debated next Monday as an alternative to Mrs May’s deal.

The votes comes after MPs wrestled control of the Brexit agenda from the government last Monday night (local time) after Mrs May’s deal failed to pass the House of Commons for a second time.

Speaker John Bercow picked the options for today’s indicative votes, which include:

  • Leaving without a deal on April 12
  • Three separate options of leaving with various customs agreements
  • Labour’s Brexit plan, which keeps the UK in a Customs Union with the EU
  • Revoking Article 50 in the event of a no-deal scenario
  • Putting any withdrawal agreement to a second referendum
  • And a final option known as the “Malthouse Plan”, which seeks a standstill agreement with the EU to negotiate a trade deal.

MPs will vote in private on all eight options, with results expected from 9pm local time (8am AEDT).

Meanwhile, Mrs May has been trying to woo conservative backbenchers in a bid to garner more support for her withdrawal agreement.

Speaker Bercow poured water over her attempts to get it before parliament by the end of the week, saying it would need to be significantly different from the previous deal.

But that has not stopped conservative party whips from telling MPs to keep their diaries open for Friday.

One influential pro-Brexit backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg, appears to have backflipped on his fierce opposition to the deal, saying he would support it providing Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party did, and that “half a loaf is better than no bread”.

“I have come to this view because the numbers in parliament make it clear that all the other potential outcomes are worse and an awkward reality needs to be faced,” he wrote in a comment piece for the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.






First posted

March 28, 2019 04:57:20

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