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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Future of Brexit, Theresa May up in air as EU hails remainers

Theresa May reiterated her intention to deliver Brexit through the controversial withdrawal agreement.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2019 22:16 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
May is widely expected to announce a timetable of her resignation in exchange for Brexit rebels in her party agreeing to support the withdrawal agreement that has been twice voted down in the House of Commons.
May is widely expected to announce a timetable of her resignation in exchange for Brexit rebels in her party agreeing to support the withdrawal agreement that has been twice voted down in the House of Commons.(AP)
         

London: Top officials in Brussels on Wednesday said they could “not betray increasing majority” in the UK to remain in the European Union, as Prime Minister Theresa May, parliament, MPs and others continued to struggle to find a way out of the impasse.

May is widely expected to announce a timetable of her resignation in exchange for Brexit rebels in her party agreeing to support the withdrawal agreement that has been twice voted down in the House of Commons. She intends to introduce it again in the near future.

The house was scheduled to debate and vote on a unique procedure in parliamentary history on Wednesday: MPs are to choose from a list of a range of Brexit options in order to discover which option has the most support.

May said her government is opposed to what is called ‘indicative votes’, insisting that its outcome is not binding and would not commit to honouring it. She reiterated her intention to deliver Brexit through the controversial withdrawal agreement.

Noting anti-Brexit moves such as the 1 million-strong Saturday’s march in London and a petition signed by 6 million people, European Council president Donald Tusk told the European Parliament that Brussels could not ignore the developments.

He said: “You cannot betray the 6 million people who signed the petition to revoke article 50, the 1 million people who marched for a people’s vote, or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union.”

May was due to meet her party MPs in the so-called 1922 committee and likely announce her plans to leave office if it helps gain the support of rebels to the agreement. Some prominent rebels such as Jacob Rees-Mogg have declared their support on the ground that it is better than no Brexit at all.

As Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and May jousted during Prime Minister’s Question Time on her approach to Brexit, Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party questioned her about her plans to resign.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the cost the prime minister will pay to force her disastrous deal through is the price of her departure. Yet again another Tory prime minister is willing to ride off into the sunset and saddle us with a crisis in the UK and an extreme right-wing Brexiteer coming into Downing Street. Does the prime minister feel no sense of responsibility for what she is about to do,” he asked.

May’s terse response is seen as an indication that she may not be in office in the near future: “It is my sense of responsibility and duty that has meant I have kept working to ensure Brexit is delivered,” said May.

First Published: Mar 27, 2019 22:15 IST