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Proposal for a vote to confirm Brexit direction touted as May claims to offer new deal | Politics News



Labour’s Brexit spokesman has suggested Theresa May could end parliamentary deadlock by including a “confirmatory” public vote as part of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) – as the PM claims to offer a “bold” new deal.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said he was doubtful another attempt to get the WAB through parliament would succeed.

He told Sky News: “We’ve had two years of people saying this is the sort of deal I desire.

“It’s the numbers that matter and so whatever it is it’s got to be something that gets through parliament and there an increasing number of people now who want to see a confirmatory vote to break the impasse.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey leaving the cabinet office in Whitehall, London.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer was unsure WAB would pass

“We said clearly there [party manifesto] that if we couldn’t get changes to the deal, and couldn’t get a general election, then we support the option of a public vote, and Jeremy Corbyn has said in terms that if the prime minister is confident that she’s got the right deal for the economy and communities she shouldn’t be afraid of putting that to the public.”

His comments come as the prime minister pens a letter in The Sunday Times, promising “a new, bold offer to MPs” in the WAB. This content of this offer at this stage is unclear, as she continues to say “the cabinet will consider the details of those changes next week”.

In her piece, Mrs May promises “an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support. It will deliver a Brexit that honours the decision the British people took in the referendum with a Brexit that is good for jobs, good for our security, and which sets the whole UK on course for a bright future outside the EU”.

The meeting to settle new cross-party-friendly measures will be held on Monday, and will be following by a second meeting on Tuesday when ministers will consider plans for a series of “indicative votes” in the Commons to establish which proposals would have the most support.

Theresa may is coming under even more pressure to step down
Theresa May will set out her departure date soon

The WAB, which must pass for Brexit to progress with Brussels, is expected to include provisions on customs arrangements with the EU and on Northern Ireland, including the use of technology to avoid the need for border controls with the Republic.

It is also expected to include new measures on protecting workers’ rights, an issue where agreement with Labour was said to have been close.

However, talks with Labour failed on Friday, with both parties citing different difficulties – the Tories saying Labour was unclear on its position on a second referendum; Labour saying the Tories are in general disarray.

Next week Mrs May is also expected to set out her timetable for departure from Number 10.

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