Prime Minister Theresa May has said that “as things stand”, there is not enough support to warrant a third vote on her Brexit deal. She said she would continue trying to get MPs to back it before putting it the Commons for a third time this week.
May has also instructed Conservative MPs to vote against a bid, headed by Tory Sir Oliver Letwin, that would allow votes to be held on alternatives to her plan.
However, if the votes go ahead, May has suggested that the government would not be bound by the ‘indicative’ alternatives, and will forge ahead with the current proposal.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC that Parliament may want to look at a series of Brexit options, but they cannot be binding on the government. “I’m answerable to my voters not to the House of Commons,” he said.
He told the Today programme there had to be an agreed deal by 11 April, otherwise the UK will have to take part in EU elections, which “would unleash a torrent of pent up frustration from voters”.
In response, Northern Ireland’s DUP has said its position has not changed and it will not be backing the withdrawal agreement. DUP leader Arlene Foster told the prime minister the news in a telephone call after this morning’s cabinet meeting.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met the prime minister for over an hour earlier, and had what Labour described as a “frank and comprehensive exchange of views” on Brexit. Corbyn apparently told the PM there was no basis for holding a third vote on her deal.