Newstalk
Newstalk

16.15 15 May 2019


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The UK's Brexit deal will be "dead" if British MPs reject it for a fourth time next month, a senior minister there has said.

The country's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay declared that if the bid to turn it into law failed, it would lead to "more fundamental questions" about whether to stop Brexit or leave the EU with no deal.

He confirmed a key vote would take place in the first week of June on the Withdrawal Agreement bill.

This is the law the British government needs to pass to put its deal struck with Brussels back in November onto the statute book.

Conservative MPs are waiting to see what it looks like - given British Prime Minister Theresa May has struck up compromise talks with Labour to find an agreement both parties could vote for.

Reports suggest it could represent a softening of the government's refusal to maintain a customs union with the EU, and greater protections for workers' and environmental rights.

Mrs May tried to assuage her backbenchers' fears during prime minister's questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, promising she would end free movement and not pay for market access to the EU.

But she was confronted by one of them, Peter Bone, who brandished a letter from local volunteers calling for her to resign.

Mrs May has promised to step down if her Brexit deal passes, but has so far resisted pressure to name a date she would leave if it does not.

All parties are braced for a testing day at the ballot box next Thursday, when British people go to the polls to elect a new group of MEPs.

The European Parliament elections are taking place there because the UK is still in the EU, after two delays to the exit date.

Britain is now on course to leave by October 31st, unless MPs pass a divorce deal sooner.

Main image: Britain's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is seen leaving Number 10 Downing Street after attending a National Security Council meeting | Image: Dinendra Haria/Zuma Press/PA Images


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Brexit Deal Brexit Secretary British Prime Minister Theresa May Conservative MPs House Of Commons Stephen Barclay Steve Barclay Theresa May Withdrawal Agreement

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