Theresa May to put her rejected deal to a vote yet again despite Labour talks

Written by Kevin Schofield on 9 May 2019 in News

The Prime Minister is still pursuing her plan A, according to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee

Theresa May - PA

Theresa May is expected to put her Brexit deal to yet another Commons vote within days, despite the ongoing deadlock in the Government's talks with Labour.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said he believed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be introduced at second reading before the European elections on 23 May.

Significantly, Conservative MPs have been put on a three-line whip for next Thursday, leading to speculation that could be the day of the vote.

The deal has been rejected several times by MPs but the Prime Minister continues to refuse to shift her red lines on how the UK will leave the European Union.

Sir Graham spoke out following two meetings with the Prime Minister to discuss calls by Conservative MPs for her to set out a "road map" for her departure from Number 10.

He said: "I think it is the intention to have a further vote, probably on second reading, of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the European elections take place and hopefully in the much nearer future than that."

The Altrincham and Sale West MP said the Prime Minister should consider removing the Irish backstop from bill in order to guarantee the support of her Tory colleagues.

"I made my view clear that I think the sensible thing to do is to introduce the bill at second reading, bringing forward elements of the political declaration that would obviate the need for the backstop by offering alternative arrangements," he said.

"The only positive proposition which has commanded a majority was my amendment which sought to pass the withdrawal agreement without the backstop in its current form. I think bringing forward a second reading of a bill which sought to deal with the backstop is the best prospect of securing second reading."

Meanwhile, talks between the Government and Labour have once again broken up without agreement, although further negotiations are planned.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "This is the second extended meeting between the Government and the opposition, which demonstrates the seriousness with which both sides are approaching these talks.

"Over the coming days there will be more meetings of the bilateral working groups and further exchanges of documents as we seek to nail down the details of what has been discussed."

A Labour party spokesperson said: "After the second day of talks this week, the negotiating teams are working to establish scope for agreement, and will meet again at the beginning of next week."

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