May Pushes Back Against Parliament Vote on Brexit Options

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is pushing back against Cabinet colleagues who are trying to take control over the direction of Brexit after her deal ran into a wall of opposition.

Some of May’s ministers are calling for Parliament to get the chance to vote on what happens next, with a series of indicative ballots on the options available, including potentially a second referendum.

May Pushes Back Against Parliament Vote on Brexit Options

May’s office hit back on Monday, insisting she has “no plans” to let members of Parliament give their views on the alternatives to her exit deal as talks are still ongoing with the EU to find a compromise. That doesn’t rule out moving to give Parliament a say over the way ahead in future, if May’s deal is finally rejected.

“It is the best deal that is available and that is what we are working to deliver,” May’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London on Monday. He added that “there are are no plans to hold” indicative votes on alternative options for Brexit. “What the prime minister is focused on is on getting the extra assurances that are needed to get the deal through the Houses of Parliament.”

The U.K. is due to leave the EU in three months’ time but there’s so far no sign that the British Parliament will accept the divorce terms May has negotiated with the bloc. Without a deal, Britain will fall out of the EU on March 29 in a chaotic split that threatens to hit the pound, crash house prices and cause disruption for millions of citizens and businesses.

May postponed a plan to put the withdrawal agreement to a vote in the House of Commons last week, conceding it would have been rejected overwhelmingly if she had. But she was rebuffed at a summit in Brussels three days later, after asking her EU counterparts to provide further legal assurances on the contentious issue of the backup plan for the Irish border.

Slack said May still plans to put her deal to a vote in the House of Commons in early January.

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