PM Theresa May battles to keep Brexit alive

Updated on Jan 18, 2019 12:07 AM IST

On Thursday, May and her ministers began meetings with senior parliamentarians, opposition leaders and chairs of select committees to identify ways in which common ground could be achieved to secure the agreement’s passage in Parliament.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing street in London on January 16.(AP Photo)
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing street in London on January 16.(AP Photo)
Hindustan Times, London | By

Doubts remained whether the Brexit Plan B Prime Minister Theresa May will present in Parliament on Monday will be different from the one that was voted down on Tuesday, but the focus has now shifted to the new deal, to be debated and put to vote on January 29.

Given May’s inflexibility on the basic contours of the ways in which Brexit is to happen, Labour and other parties said the Plan B may turn out to be a tweaked version of her defeated deal with the EU, unless she agrees to changes on the basics.

Labour insisted on not joining talks unless May rules out the UK leaving the EU on March 29 without an agreement, considered the worst-case scenario due to its adverse effect on the economy, prices, movement of people and other aspects of everyday life.

Others have insisted on holding a second referendum, but a spokesman for May ruled it out. He added to concerns of the Opposition by stating that May is determined to stick to her Brexit ‘principles’, despite the strong opposition to them from allies and foes that led to the Tuesday defeat.

On Wednesday night, May, as expected, survived the no-confidence motion by 19 votes before setting in motion the process of rebooting her approach to Brexit.

On Thursday, May and her ministers began meetings with senior parliamentarians, opposition leaders and chairs of select committees to identify ways in which common ground could be achieved to secure the agreement’s passage in Parliament.

The spokesman said: “Where people have pre-existing positions, of course they will want to make their argument for them, and the PM is going to listen, but you understand the principles which the PM holds, which she believes honour the result of the referendum. The PM has set out over the course of many months now what she believes the British people voted for, and what she believes is necessary to honour the referendum. She stands by those principles.”

During the trust vote, Conservative rebels and the 10-member Democratic Unionist Party who voted against the agreement on Tuesday voted in support of May. The motion was rejected 325 to 306 after a six-hour debate

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

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