Date
11 December 2018
If Theresa May fails to win parliament backing for her Brexit plan, it would increase the chances of Britain leaving without a deal and put the PM under fierce pressure to resign. Photo: Reuters
If Theresa May fails to win parliament backing for her Brexit plan, it would increase the chances of Britain leaving without a deal and put the PM under fierce pressure to resign. Photo: Reuters

Britain’s May launches parliamentary debate on Brexit plan

Britain’s leader Theresa May will urge parliament to back her Brexit deal on Tuesday at the start of a high-stakes five-day debate that could determine her fate, Reuters reports.

May’s plan to keep close ties with the EU after leaving has been criticized by Brexit supporters and opponents alike, leaving her struggling to secure parliament’s approval in a vote that will follow the debate, the report noted.

If, against the odds, she wins the vote, Britain will leave the EU on March 29 under terms negotiated with Brussels — the country’s biggest shift in trade and foreign policy for more than 40 years.

If she loses, May could call for a second vote on the deal. But defeat would increase the chances of Britain leaving without a deal — a prospect that could mean chaos for Britain’s economy and businesses — and put May under fierce pressure to resign, the report said.

Defeat could also make it more likely that Britain holds a second referendum, three years after voting narrowly to leave the EU, or lead to Brexit not happening.

May, 62, has toured Britain and television studios, spent hours being grilled in parliament and invited lawmakers to her Downing Street residence to try to win over her many critics.

But the deal, sealed in Brussels last month, has united critics at both ends of the political spectrum. Euroskeptics say it will make Britain a vassal state while EU supporters – expressing the same idea though with different language – say the country will become a rule taker.

Her allies in parliament, the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party which props up her government, have also rejected the deal and opposition parties say they cannot back it.

May is pressing on nonetheless.

“The British people want us to get on with a deal that honors the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted,” the prime minister will tell lawmakers on Tuesday, according to excerpts of her speech seen by Reuters.

“This is the deal that delivers for the British people.”

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RC

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