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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Brexit: PM Theresa May to present Plan B on Monday

May’s Plan B statement will also be subject to amendments before being put to a vote in the House of Commons on January 29. Unless the discredited agreement is brought back with changes incorporating the views of the rebels, it is unlikely to be passed.

world Updated: Jan 20, 2019 21:09 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave church, near High Wycombe, Britain, January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave church, near High Wycombe, Britain, January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay(REUTERS)
         

After suffering a major defeat in parliament on the EU withdrawal agreement last week, Prime Minister Theresa is due to present her Plan B on Monday, as the March 29 exit date draws near and rebel MPs plot new amendments and motions.

Downing Street cautioned the MPs not to try to frustrate the Brexit process by tabling amendments and motions that would, in effect, delay or lead to the UK not leaving the EU at all. Conservative and Labour MPs are due to table new motions on Monday.

May’s Plan B statement will also be subject to amendments before being put to a vote in the House of Commons on January 29. Unless the discredited agreement is brought back with changes incorporating the views of the rebels, it is unlikely to be passed.

Leading Brexiteer Liam Fox, who is also secretary for international trade, on Sunday accused MPs opposed to Brexit of trying to, in effect, steal Brexit: “You’ve got a Leave population and a Remain Parliament. Parliament has not got the right to hijack the Brexit process.”

“What we are now getting are some of those who were always absolutely opposed to the result of the referendum, trying to hijack Brexit…On this point, Parliament subcontracted its sovereignty on the issue of whether we stayed in the European Union or not to the people of this country,” he told BBC.

Fox warned that, if the 2016 referendum result to leave the EU were not honoured, “the consequences politically would be astronomical.”

According to Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, any withdrawal agreement is likely to require the controversial ‘backstop’ for Ireland-Northern Ireland. He believes a renegotiation with Brussels was unlikely in the time before March 29.

“At this stage any deal probably does require a backstop and we’ve got to recognise that. There are problems with this backstop and we have got to recognise that but because we are in this stage of the exercise, nearly two years in, the chances now of a deal that doesn’t have a backstop are very, very slim.”

May and her ministers have been meeting MPs to seek views on the way forward. However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to join the talks unless May rules out the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement – considered the worst-case scenario.

First Published: Jan 20, 2019 21:07 IST