The Prime Minister outlined her final push for an amended Brexit deal on Tuesday, that Parliament will vote on, which includes the option of giving MPs a say on whether there should be another referendum. Theresa May’s speech sparked fury among many Conservative MPs, and some who backed her withdrawal agreement during the second and third votes have claimed they can support her no longer. Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, and Executive Secretary of the Tory Party’s influential 1922 Committee, Nigel Evans, demanded “fresh leadership” announcing he would no longer be backing the agreement.
He told Sky News: “I did vote Leave and I did vote for the Prime Minister’s deal on number two and number three, I will not be voting for the second reading of this Bill.
“She seems quite prepared to see a customs union as part of that. Even as you have just said, a second referendum, which would be appalling.
“It is not what we stood on in 2017, and if the Labour Party want to pivot towards that sort of stuff, that is up to them.
“But, our fingerprints simply should not be on it whatsoever. The Prime Minister needs to recognise quite frankly, the leadership election is already underway to succeed her and what she doesn’t want, surely, is to hand her successor a toxic batten. That’s what this Withdrawal Bill could do.”
He added: “I have compromised enough over deal two and deal three. Quite frankly what you have got is a Conservative Party that is now scoring historically low in the polls. Pivoting towards the Labour Party that is historically low in the polls.
“If the Prime Minister wants a second referendum. Well, she only has to wait until Thursday, let’s listen to the results and see what the people are saying.
“Quite frankly, it’s not what the 17.4million people voted for. We need to start to listen to them. What we need now is fresh leadership in the Conservative Party. The Prime Minister has failed to deliver the Brexit she said she would do. She said ‘Brexit means Brexit – and I will make a success of it’.
“She has failed to do that, so let’s get a new leader into place and then let them start to reboot the negotiations with a new commission.”
Mrs May opened the door to a second Brexit referendum, in order to get MPs to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, during her speech on Tuesday.
She said: “I have also listened carefully to those who have been asking for a second referendum. I have made my own view on this clear many times. I do not believe this is a route we should take because I believe we should be implementing the result of the first referendum, not asking the British people to vote in a second one.
“But, I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling across the House on this important issue. The Government will, therefore, include in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at introduction a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum. This must take place before the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified.
“If the House of Commons were to vote for a referendum, it would be requiring the Government to make provisions for such a referendum including legislation if it wanted to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement.”
She added: “So to those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal, you need a deal, and therefore a Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it happen. So, let it have its second reading, and then make your case to Parliament”.
Speaking in central London, Mrs May outlined how her “new Brexit deal” differs to the previous deals rejected by Parliament – including a commitment in law to let Parliament decide on the customs issue.
Mrs May said there would be “no change in the level of environmental protection when we leave the EU” and pledged that the UK would seek “as close to frictionless trade in goods with the EU as possible” while outside the single market – ending free movement.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Mrs May’s speech hinting Labour will not support her new proposal.
After Conservative MP Robert Halfon suggested he could not back the deal, BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, wrote: “Blimey if MPs like Halfon are against this is a very bad outcome for May.”
Published at Tue, 21 May 2019 17:56:00 +0000