Theresa May mocked for call for cross-party co-operation

Written by Tom Freeman on 11 July 2017 in News

Theresa May's call for consensus has implications for Brexit, as MPs from across the house call for compromise

Theresa May - PA

Opposition parties have mocked Theresa May ahead of a statement from the Prime Minister calling for support from them in forming policy.

In a speech marking a year as PM, May will today call for cross-party co-operation following her failure to win a majority in the election.

“In this new context, it will be even more important to make the case for our policies and our values, and to win the battle of ideas both in Parliament as well as in the country," she is expected to say.


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“So I say to the other parties in the House of Commons… come forward with your own views and ideas about how we can tackle these challenges as a country.

“We may not agree on everything, but through debate and discussion – the hallmarks of our Parliamentary democracy – ideas can be clarified and improved and a better way forward found.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested she read the Labour manifesto.

"If the prime minister would like it, I would be very happy to furnish her with a copy of our election manifesto - or better still an early election, in order that the people of this country can better decide," he said.

The SNP said May must turn "warm words into action" after failing to negotiate with the Scottish Government over Brexit.

The party's Westminster Europe spokesperson Stephen Gethins said: “Despite warm words about listening to others when she took office, the simple fact is that Theresa May has done her level best to ignore, sideline and belittle her opponents over the last year.

“With her Commons majority gone and her authority severely undermined, Theresa May can no longer just pay lip service to the idea of listening to and working with others – she is now offering to do so because she has no choice."

It is unclear whether May's olive branch will include her position on Brexit.

An all-party parliamentary group on EU Relations, which includes Labour's Chuka Umunna, Conservative Anna Soubry, Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson and Green MP Caroline Lucas, has called for "all options" to be on the table - including continued membership of the single market and customs union.

On Sunday, Lib Dem leadership hopeful Vince Cable said in his view Brexit may not happen.

Umunna, who tabled an unsuccessful amendment to the Queen’s Speech for staying in the single market, said: “We won’t accept MPs being treated as spectators in the Brexit process, when we should be on the pitch as active players representing our constituents."

Gethins said the SNP had already offered a compromise in the shape of the Scottish Government's Brexit document, which suggested continued membership of the single market.

“The Scottish Government produced serious and detailed compromise proposals responding to Brexit which would protect jobs and Scotland’s economy – the UK government must now give these proper and genuine consideration.

“Of course, this government’s unwillingness to listen goes way beyond Brexit – Theresa May’s approach to austerity, pay restraint and much more is unsustainable and she must change course."

The bill to repeal all laws covering powers currently controlled by Brussels will be introduced on Thursday.

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