Prime Minister Theresa May plans a “meaningful vote” if no deal on Brexit is reached by the end of this month but the Labor Party is accusing her of “running down the clock.”
May needs Parliament to approve a deal on departing the European Union by March 29.
May will ask the ministers for more time to get legally-binding changes to the hard border with Ireland, which she believes will be enough to secure a majority, the BBC reported Sunday.
And instead of a “meaningful” vote, ministers could be given another series of non-binding votes on possible Brexit alternatives by Feb. 27 with the final vote on whether to approve or reject the deal delayed until the following month.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire it would allowing her more time to come up with a compromise . “I think that gives that sense of timetable, clarity and purpose on what we are doing with the EU — taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal — but equally knowing that role that Parliament very firmly has,” he said on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
The Labor Party will attempt to force the government to hold the final, “meaningful vote” by Feb. 26.
Keir Starmer, who is Labor’s shadow Brexit secretary, says he believes the prime minister is “pretending to make progress” on the Irish backstop issue.
“We have got to put a hard stop into this running down the clock,” Starmer told The Sunday Times. “And that’s what we want to do this week.”
He said “there needs to be a day when Parliament says that’s it, enough is enough.”
Labor is proposing that the United Kingdom stay in a customs union with the EU.
The government has promised a formal response to the proposal and further talks with Labor. But it would prevent Britain from making its own trade deals after Brexit. The Parlimanet has rejected the deal.
And Labor Ministers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson are preparing to push for a second referendum, writing Sunday in The Independent: “It would also be reckless to accept the withdrawal agreement without the approval of the British people.”
Based on a referendum in 2016, Britain will leave the EU on March 29. May’s deal, which was approved by the European Union, covers the terms of the departure and the framework of future relations.
Last month, Parliament approved an amendment that supported most of the deal but called for backstop — a last-resort option to prevent a hard border in Ireland to be replaced with “alternative arrangements.” May is in talks in talks with the EU to seek these changes to the backstop.
May flew to Brussels, Belfast and Dublin last week for Brexit talks.