May warns Parliament will stop Brexit if her deal is voted down
Theresa May is launching a last-ditch attempt to save her Brexit deal, warning euro-skeptics who are plotting to kill her plan that Britain is more likely to stay in the European Union than leave without an agreement.
As she enters one of the most tumultuous weeks of her turbulent premiership, the prime minister will seek to avert what is almost certain to be a huge defeat on Tuesday in a House of Commons vote on the agreement she’s negotiated with the EU.
In a speech on Monday, May will warn there’s now more chance of members of Parliament blocking Brexit than of the no-deal outcome preferred by many euroskeptic Tories who want a clean break from the EU. Thwarting Brexit would be a betrayal of millions of voters who opted to leave the bloc in 2016, she will say.
“What if we found ourselves in a situation where Parliament tried to take the UK out of the EU in opposition to a remain vote? People’s faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm,” May will say in a speech in the city of Stoke-on-Trent on Monday, according to extracts released by her office. “We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum.”
Her choice of Stoke is significant. The city in central England, 135 miles (217 kilometers) north of Parliament in London and once the heart of the global pottery industry, voted more emphatically to leave the EU than anywhere else in the UK in the 2016 referendum.
May’s warning comes after the Sunday Times reported that some lawmakers are planning to seize control of the legislative agenda from the government in an act that would allow Parliament to extend the March 29 Brexit deadline or even overturn the decision to leave the EU.
A senior government official on Sunday described the plan as extremely concerning, since if it succeeds lawmakers would gain control over not just Brexit legislation but all legislation.