UK Labour, DUP reject Theresa May's 'new' Brexit deal

A 'new' Brexit deal proposed by British Prime Minister Theresa May, which would give MPs the oppo...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

19.10 21 May 2019

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UK Labour, DUP reject Theresa...

UK Labour, DUP reject Theresa May's 'new' Brexit deal

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

19.10 21 May 2019

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A 'new' Brexit deal proposed by British Prime Minister Theresa May, which would give MPs the opportunity to vote on a second referendum, has been shot down.

Earlier Mrs May said MPs would have the opportunity to vote on whether to a second Brexit referendum if they back her government's withdrawal deal.

She also promised that her revised deal addressed the concerns of 'all parts of the community' in Northern Ireland.


Mrs May has already pledged to hold another vote on the withdrawal agreement in two weeks.

It has already been rejected by MPs three times.

Last week, talks between Labour and the British government aimed at trying to find a compromise collapsed without agreement after six weeks.

Responding to the new proposals, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party will vote against them.

He said there was no substantive movement on a customs union, consumer rights and food standards.

"It's basically a rehash of what was discussed before.

"And it doesn't make any fundamental moves on market alignment or the customs union, or indeed protection of rights - but particularly in relation to consumer rights and the quality of the food that we will eat in the future", he said.

Mr Corbyn added there was a "question of the deliverability of it", given Mrs May was likely to be replaced soon.

While the DUP's leader in Westminster, Nigel Dodds, has said he does not think the proposals change anything.

"I think it's an attempt in domestic legislation, basically, to try to patch up the fatal flaws in the withdrawal agreement treaty itself.

"But the trouble is that the treaty isn't going to be renegotiated - so I think the fundamental flaws in the treaty remain.

"And that is the backstop as far as we're concerned".

Mrs May said there is 'one last chance' to get the deal through parliament.

In a speech earlier on Monday, she said she was putting forward a 'serious offer' that makes changes to the proposals previously on the table.

Mrs May said that while she does not support a second referendum, she recogniseed the "genuine and sincere" strength of feeling for a second vote.

She observed: "The Government will therefore include in the withdrawal agreement bill a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum.

"If the House of Commons were to vote for a referendum, it would be requiring the Government to make provisions for such a referendum."

"To those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal, you need a deal... so let it have its second reading, and then make your case to parliament."


Elsewhere, she pledged that Great Britain will stay aligned to Northern Ireland if the backstop comes into effect.

She added that her government will be obliged to seek 'alternative arrangements' by the end of 2020 to ensure the backstop doesn't come into force.

Under the revised bill, the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive would need to give their consent for any new regulations added to the backstop.

Mrs May added: "This new Brexit deal contains significant further changes to protect economic and constitutional integrity of the UK, and deliver Brexit.

"It is a bespoke solution that answers concerns of all parts of the community in Northern Ireland."

Labour has made the issue of workers' rights one of their key red lines in negotiations, and Mrs May said her government will introduce a workers' rights bill to address those concerns.

"I understand people want guarantees, and I'm happy to give them," she noted.

The Brexit bill will ensure there's no changes to environmental standards after the UK leaves the EU.

It will also require the government to aim for 'as frictionless trade with the EU as possible' for goods.

Mrs May said the issues of customs was the most difficult question to address, so the issue is being put to MPs.

They'll have an opportunity to vote on the government's existing proposals, or a 'compromise' option involving a temporary customs union.

She explained: "Parliament will have the opportunity to resolve this.

"The government will commit in law to let parliament decide this issue."

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: Theresa May. Picture by: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images

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