UK: Prime Minister May announces new date for Brexit vote in parliament
British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will return to parliament in mid-January for a vote on her European Union withdrawal agreement, more than a week after she sparked a huge controversy by pulling a planned vote.
May told the House of Commons on Monday that parliament will be able to begin a week of debate on the Brexit deal on January 14.
May made the announcement after returning from a trip to Brussels to attend an EU summit where she sought assurances on a controversial clause in the Brexit deal which stipulates how Britain and the EU should avoid setting up a hard border on the island of Ireland after the separation takes place.
The British premier said that the EU had given her government enough assurances that it would be a remote possibility that the EU could trigger the so-called backstop in December 2020 after a two-year transition period for Brexit ends.
However, the opposition Labour Party rejected May’s claims about an improved situation on the backstop, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn saying no progress had been made and May was only trying to maneuver parliament into accepting her deal with the EU.
Corbyn also slammed May’s decision to delay the Brexit vote until mid-January, saying the premier had been expected to bring the deal for vote this week.
“There can be no logical reason for this delay, except that, in taking shambolic government to a new level, the prime minister no longer has the backing of her cabinet,” said Corbyn in his Monday address to parliament.
However, a spokesman of the Labour said that it was to the party’s credit that May finally bowed to pressures and accepted to bring her Brexit deal back to parliament.
“The prime minister has been forced to bring her botched deal back to Parliament under threat of a motion of no confidence in her,” said the spokesman.
Britain is expected to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. May has time and again reiterated that options after a potential rejection of her Brexit deal in parliament would be either a no-deal departure or no Brexit at all.