«Last chance» to pass Brexit deal met with skepticism in British parliament


In the United Kingdom, the latest offer by British Prime Minister Theresa May to pass the country’s withdrawal deal with the European Union has been criticised by influential groups in the British parliament.

British public broadcaster BBC reports that on Tuesday, May 21, Theresa May presented a new plan aimed at ratifying the withdrawal agreement. It includes:

A guarantee of a Parliament’s House of Commons vote on whether to hold another referendum on the government’s Brexit deal, with a promise to honour the outcome

A vote on different customs options, including a government proposal for a temporary customs union for goods – what Mrs May called a «customs compromise»

–  A legal obligation for the UK to «seek to conclude alternative arrangements» to replace the Northern Ireland backstop by the end of 2020

–  If the backstop does come into force, the bill would guarantee Northern Ireland remains aligned with the rest of the UK and remains in same customs territory

– Legislation to ensure workers’ rights are «every bit as good if not better» after Brexit and guarantees of no dilution in environmental standards

–  A legal duty to seek changes to the political declaration on future relations with the EU.

Theresa May also stated the MPs would also be offered a vote on whether to hold another referendum if they back the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Opposition opposed to new plan

The opposition Labour Party commented that the offer was a «rehash» of existing plans. The leader of the inner opposition of the ruling Conservative Party stated that what was on offer was «worse than before», while influential Conservative Boris Johnson argued the proposals contravened the party’s 2017 general election manifesto, which ruled out the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU.

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