Brexit pressure rises, but UK government says no to second vote




  • In Politics
  • 2018-12-16 14:07:19Z
  • By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government is not preparing for a second referendum on Brexit, ministers said on Sunday, sticking to the script that Prime Minister Theresa May's deal could still pass through parliament with a few changes.

May delayed a vote last week on her agreement to leave the European Union because she was set to lose in parliament and has tried to secure "assurances" from the bloc to try to better sell it to skeptical lawmakers. Brussels said last week it was ready to help but warned her that she could not renegotiate the deal.

With less than four months before Britain is due to leave in March, Brexit, the biggest shift in trade and foreign policy for more than 40 years, is proving anything but smooth, complicated by the deep divisions in parliament and across the country.

With May facing deadlock in parliament over the deal and the EU offering little so far, more politicians are talking about the possibility of Britain leaving without an agreement or a second referendum that could stop Brexit from happening.

Asked if the government was preparing for a vote, education minister Damian Hinds told Sky News: "No, a second referendum would be divisive. We've had the people's vote, we've had the referendum and now we've got to get on with implementing it."

Trade minister Liam Fox also said a second referendum would "perpetuate" the deep divisions in Britain, adding that the prime minister was securing the necessary assurances to persuade parliament to back her deal.

He said that would take some time.

"It will happen over Christmas, it's not going to happen this week, it's not going to be quick, it will happen some time in the New Year," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

But the longer it takes, voices urging a change of tack are getting louder and the pressure on the main opposition Labour Party to move against the government is rising.

Simon Coveney, Ireland's foreign minister, said if Britain wanted to put an "entirely new" Brexit proposal forward the government would most likely have to delay its departure.

May survived a no confidence vote among her Conservative lawmakers last week, but opposition parties are calling for Labour to propose a parliamentary motion of no confidence against the government this week.

Labour has repeatedly said it will call such a motion at "the best time", or when it knows it can win, and for now will try to force the government to bring its deal to parliament sooner.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's policy chief for communities and local government, said: "We will be using whatever mechanisms we have at our disposal next week to try and force the government to bring forward that deal for a vote before Christmas."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter)

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: May: Not enough support for another Brexit vote
The Latest: May: Not enough support for another Brexit vote

LONDON (AP) - The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

Britain
Britain's May reportedly on the brink amid Brexit crisis

Prime Minister Theresa May is making a last-ditch bid this weekend to win support among British MPs for her EU divorce deal ahead of another pivotal week in the Brexit process -- but faced reports her leadership is under imminent threat. After securing a short delay to Britain's departure from the European Union beyond March, May appealed directly to lawmakers to contact her "over the coming days as parliament prepares to take a momentous decision". Next week could see MPs vote for a third time on her unpopular withdrawal agreement -- though May said in her letter this would only happen if there were signs of "sufficient support".

The Latest: Protesters in London demand halt to Brexit
The Latest: Protesters in London demand halt to Brexit

LONDON (AP) - The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

A Brexit crisis deepens, tens of thousands gather in London to demand new referendum
A Brexit crisis deepens, tens of thousands gather in London to demand new referendum

After three years of tortuous debate, it is still uncertain how, when or even if Brexit will happen as May tries to plot a way out of the gravest political crisis in at least a generation. Brexit supporters say a second referendum would trigger a major constitutional crisis.

French police out in force to prevent
French police out in force to prevent 'yellow vest' violence
  • World
  • 2019-03-23 09:20:09Z

Thousands of police fanned out across central Paris and other French cities Saturday ahead of planned "yellow vest" protests, with the government vowing to prevent a repeat of the rioting and looting seen in the capital last week. At the opposite end of the avenue access was completely blocked

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.