THERESA MAY has said the Commons vote on her Brexit deal will ‘definitely’ go ahead — and has refused to rule out a second referendum if she loses it.
The prime minister said Parliament will be given its say next Monday or Tuesday on the withdrawal agreement she has forged with the EU.
She repeatedly refused to be drawn on what will happen if, as widely predicted, Tory rebels join forces with opposition parties to vote it down.
Options might include delaying Brexit beyond March 29, holding a referendum or calling multiple votes in the Commons in the hope MPs will give in.
But Mrs May told BBC1’s Andrew Marr show yesterday: ‘If the deal is not voted on, this vote that is coming up, then actually we are going to be in uncharted territory. I don’t think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament.’
She added: ‘In my view, there should not be a second referendum and, practically, you couldn’t get a referendum organised in time before March 29.’ The comments from the prime minister, who has frequently condemned calls for a new referendum, were seized on last night by Remain campaigners.
Tonia Antoniazzi, a Labour MP and spokeswoman for the People’s Vote group, said: ‘For all her bluster, Theresa May knows she could yet be forced to offer a People’s Vote.’
Meanwhile, a cross-party group of MPs has launched a bid to block a no-deal Brexit by adding an amendment to the government’s finance bill, which the Commons is due to vote on tomorrow.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tory Nicky Morgan revealed they were tabling the measure, which would stop ministers carrying out no-deal policies unless they had approval from a majority of MPs.
A separate amendment backed by the Lib Dems would prevent the government collecting crucial taxes unless its approach to Brexit had won approval.
Labour ‘could back People’s Vote’ as 75% call for a second EU poll
LABOUR could hold a second referendum on a renegotiated Brexit deal if it won a general election, the shadow international trade secretary said yesterday.
Barry Gardiner said his personal view was that it would ‘make sense’ for a fresh public vote if a government led by Jeremy Corbyn secured a ‘better’ agreement with Brussels.
His comments came following reports that some Labour activists were pushing the party leadership to change its stance over Brexit.
A poll of 25,000 people commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign also found 75 per cent of Labour voters supported a second referendum.
Mr Gardiner told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday a Labour government could go to Brussels without Theresa May’s red lines and get ‘a different, better deal’ which it could put to the country.
However, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry accused the People’s Vote campaign of seeking to ‘slap the Labour Party around’ and urged it to focus on reasons to remain in the European Union.
The campaign said she was ‘badly mistaken’ and it was highlighting that Labour would ‘suffer its worst electoral defeat since the 1930s if it continued promising to enable some sort of Brexit to go ahead’.
■ THE average person has spent 122hr 26min discussing Brexit since the referendum, a survey has found. On a day-to-day basis, the word Brexit is heard more than 507million times and there are 92million conversations about it — about two chats per person. Of the 2,000 people polled for the Channel 4 study, 67 per cent said talking about Brexit made them stressed and 32 per cent said they tried to change the subject.