Economy

British PM Theresa May could further delay Brexit vote

British PM Theresa May could further delay Brexit vote

"There was no question, that I remember, on the referendum about a "deal" or not; it was "leave" or 'remain.' And the way you leave is to come out on the 29th of March".

She did not say whether she would try a second time to get the deal passed by parliament if defeated, and refused to hold a second referendum, which she said would be "divisive and disrespectful" to the voters of the 2016 vote.

May said the vote in parliament would be held around 15 January, as expected, countering reports that she could delay it.

However, polling released on Friday suggest that Tory members are even more opposed to May's deal than their MPs, with a majority calling on parliament to vote it down later this month.

May struck a withdrawal agreement with the European Union in November, but that deal needs Parliament's approval.

As the parliamentary debate on her deal is due to begin next week, on 9 January.

"I don't think anyone can say what will happen in terms of the reaction we see in Parliament", she told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

"The backstop remains the poison which makes any vote for the Withdrawal Agreement so toxic".

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Analysts said May's comments to the BBC did little to hide the fact the British leader has no "gamechanger" amendments to the proposed withdrawal agreement capable of swinging the parliamentary arithmetic in her favour.

The Prime Minister warned critics from both sides of the Brexit divide that they risked damaging the economy and trust in democracy by opposing her plan. In December, May made a decision to postpone a parliamentary vote meant to ratify the agreement at the last minute after it became clear that it would be overwhelmingly defeated in the House of Commons.

"We are pretty much where we were before Christmas, with the proviso that there's less time left".

Asked if he could guarantee that no one would die as a result of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Hancock told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "I'm confident that we will have the unhindered supply of medicines so long as the plans that we have in place are properly enacted".

MPs including Yvette Cooper and Nicky Morgan tabled an amendment to the finance bill that would allow ministers to implement tax changes after Brexit only if parliament has backed a deal, endorsed a no-deal departure or during an extension to Article 50.

Both the Labour and Conservative parties" 2017 General Election manifestos ran on pledges to respect the referendum vote and leave the European Union; while Mrs May has been pushing MPs to accept her Withdrawal Agreement, a "no deal' Brexit - the default legal position if the lower house votes down May's agreement - is fulfilling the referendum result as Tory MP Peter Bone told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

Under forceful questioning from the BBC, May said that there should not be a second referendum.

The survey of more than 25,000 voters also showed that 41 percent of Britons thought the final decision about Brexit should be made by a new public vote versus 36 percent who believe it should be up to parliament.


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