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Theresa May promises ‘bold offer’ to MPs as Jeremy Corbyn says public vote not ‘disastrous’ | Politics News



Theresa May has said she is preparing to make a “bold offer” to MPs in a final bid to get her Brexit deal through, as Jeremy Corbyn claimed a second referendum would not be “disastrous”.

The prime minister will put the Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the legislation which enshrines her Brexit plan into UK law – to a vote in the Commons next month.

It is a last throw of the dice by Mrs May, who has promised to set out when she will leave Downing Street in the coming weeks.

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

Talks will begin on Monday over what measures to include to try and secure cross-party support.

The bill 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.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Mrs May promised “an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support”.

She said: “I still believe there is a majority in parliament to be won for leaving with a deal.

“When the Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes before MPs, it will represent a new, bold offer to MPs across the House of Commons, with an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support.

“Whatever the outcome of any votes, I will not be simply asking MPs to think again. Instead I will ask them to look at a new and improved deal with fresh pairs of eyes – and to give it their support.”

Stephen Barclay has stressed the need for no-deal planning

Brexit secretary stresses need for no deal planning

Following discussions with ministers on Monday, a full meeting of Mrs May’s cabinet will consider plans for a series of indicative vote on alternative Brexit options.

Mr Corbyn said Labour does not currently support the bill, because he has heard nothing which suggests it will be “fundamentally different” to what has already been voted on.

The Labour leader repeated his view that a second referendum should be an option to respond to what emerges from parliament.

Shadow International Development Sec Dan Jarvis MP

Shadow minister blames the Tories for collapsed Brexit talks

Pushed on what he meant by option, Mr Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We would want a vote in order to decide what the future would be, so yes.”

Asked if a second referendum would be disastrous, Mr Corbyn replied: “No, I don’t think anything like that is disastrous but I think it has to be an opportunity for public debate and public discussion, but it has to be about something and that’s why I have made the point clear about a customs union and trade and rights protection.”

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

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

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 are an increasing number of people now who want to see a confirmatory vote to break the impasse.

“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.”

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