Parliament Vows to Vote Down May’s Deal Fourth Time as Govt Threats Hard or No-Brexit

Theresa May Downing Street
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Apparently undeterred by having her so-called withdrawal agreement voted down by Parliament three times in various guises, Prime Minister Theresa May is to attempt pushing it through a fourth time next month.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s officials at her Downing Street office announced Tuesday that a new vote would come on the week of June 3rd, and would give Members of Parliament a fourth chance to vote the way she wants them to, ratifying a withdrawal agreement she was given by the European Union.

The withdrawal agreement Mrs May has been pushing, which she has characterised as a “deal” she secured from Europe, has come under massive attack from both Brexiteers and Remainers in the United Kingdom for its many flaws, and potential to leave the country in a worse position than it started with. One of the most vocal critics is Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who just this week said the deal was more like a “European treaty”, dictated to Britain by chief European negotiator Michel Barnier with German Chancellor and defacto ruler of Europe Angela Merkel “looking over his shoulder”.

Mr Farage characterised the agreement Mrs May was trying to push through, saying: “it’s not a deal. It’s a new European treaty… The truth of it is that we’re being asked to leave one European treaty to sign up to another European treaty which, in some ways, is perhaps even worse than the situation we’re currently in.

“And that is why three times it has been rejected in the House of Commons.”

In an attempt to encourage Parliamentarians into backing her deal, May’s spokesman said Tuesday that if they passed the vote in June, the UK could “leave” the European Union in July.

The carrot approach also came with the stick, however. An emissary for Mrs May, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox made clear if the vote was defeated again, there would be consequences and laid out two outcomes — each the nightmare Brexit outcome for one or the other camps of anti-May MPs.

Apparently seeking to frighten both leavers and remainers into backing May’s deal, Fox told the Institute For Government Wednesday morning: “…I think MPs will have to look and see if they want to continue down the path that inexorably takes us to either the potential of revocation of Article 50, or leaving without a deal, and ask themselves if that’s the best course democratically or economically for the UK.”

Westminster jargon for cancelling Brexit altogether, revoking Article 50 is anathema for both Brexiteers and MPs in general who believe that the democratic will of the people should — in a nation that counts itself as a democracy — be respected.

Yet despite the promises and threats, MPs are still set to defeat the bill, reports The Guardian, which cites the DUP’s Nigel Dodds who said it was “highly likely” it would be defeated. It also quoted key Tory rebel Brexiteer Own Paterson, who said the vote coming back didn’t change any of the reasons for it being defeated the last three times, and in his view still didn’t deliver the Brexit the British people asked for.

The timing is conspicuous, as the vote will come shortly after the European Union elections, in which her Conservative Party is predicted to receive an absolute drubbing at the hands of a Brexit party which clearly campaigns on a policy of taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal at all, a so-called hard Brexit. The Brexit Party is polling in first place, despite being less than two months old.

Perhaps even more remarkably, the vote is said to be coming the same week as the state visit to the United Kingdom of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said on several occasions that he would support Britain leaving the EU without a deal as it could allow the two nations to enter into a significant new trade deal.

Now working with the hard-left opposition Labour party which her government once criticised as unfit to govern to get enough votes to pass her deal, talks between the two parties continued Wednesday.

But Labour sounded pessimistic about the chances of a breakthrough. The party said in a statement Tuesday night that Corbyn expressed concerns to May “about the prime minister’s ability to deliver on any compromise agreement.”

Labour said Corbyn “raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments.” The party fears any promises from May could be undone by her successor. The prime minister is under immense pressure from Conservative lawmakers to quit because she failed to lead Britain out of the EU on schedule.

May has said she will resign once a Brexit deal is approved and make way for a new leader to guide the U.K. through the next stage – talks with the EU on future relations.

Many Conservative lawmakers are pressing her to be more specific and to name a date for her departure.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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