Top UK cabinet members to demand Brexit delay unless May secures deal
Brexit should be delayed if MPs do not approve a deal this week, three cabinet ministers have demanded publicly for the first time.
Business secretary Greg Clark, home secretary Amber Rudd and justice minister David Gauke told the Daily Mail time they hoped for a breakthrough in talks with the European Union soon.
But they said they were prepared to break ranks with Prime Minister Theresa May and vote for a delay.
About 35 Conservative MPs could support a House of Commons move to delay Brexit if it looks likely the
May is unable to win a majority for her withdrawal agreement.
Conservative chief whip Julian Smith was sent a letter by the party’s Brexit Delivery Group, made up of remainers and Brexiteers, warning that they could vote next week for a delay.
May says she is still hoping to gain “legally binding changes” from the other 27 members to the Irish backstop arrangement within her Brexit deal, which was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs last month.
The prime minister’s office said in a statement: “The PM is working hard to ensure we get a deal with the EU that allows us to deliver on the result of the referendum.
“That is where the cabinet’s energy should be focused.”
May apparently faces threats of another rebellion by her MPs who are keen to avoid a no-deal Brexit.”
Corbyn in crisis
Embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said if he won power he would renegotiate a Brexit agreement with Brussels, without saying how, and could hold another referendum on membership.
When asked if he would hold a people’s vote on a deal he told Sky News: “We’d consider putting that to the public.”
Asked if he was considering calling for a third referendum, the leftist leader, who has lost nine MPs in a week, said: “That’s the point we’re discussing now in the party.”
Finance spokesman John McDonnell said Labour was close to backing a people’s vote and said he would campaign for remain.
McDonnell said Labour was “moving towards” another referendum and that an amendment calling for a people’s vote being tabled in the Commons for debate next week “could be a solution”.
He said any referendum would have remain as the option alongside May’s unpopular deal.
“If we were going on a people’s vote based on a deal that has gone through parliament in some form, if that got voted down then you’d have status quo, and that would be remain,” he said.
The people’s vote campaign appears to have been revived. Picture credit: Eurasia Times