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Monday, 1 April 2019
Effort to strike a Brexit majority homes in on four proposals
A preferred way out of the Brexit crisis is being sought in the British parliament on Monday, only 11 days before the UK could leave the European Union without a deal.
The Speaker, John Bercow, selected four amendments to the government’s current Brexit plan to be voted on and debated by parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May, whose current withdrawal plan has been rejected three times, is under no legal obligation to listen to what MPs decide.
The four plans to be voted on are one to ensure a customs union with the EU was a minimum; the UK stays in the common market; allowing the public a vote to back any Brexit agreement accepted by parliament and to stop the departure process if a no-deal looks likely
MPs have until April 12 to accept a Brexit deal. After that, they must indicate to the EU how they seek to move forward.
Last week, none of the eight options debated by parliament received a majority. Leaders in the opposition Labour party said they would urge their MPs to support the Common Market 2.0 plan put forward by Conservative backbencher Nick Boles.
It would allow freedom of movement and the UK would still have to contribute a certain amount of money to Brussels.
Reports said she was readying herself for a fourth time to put her deal to MPs after they rejected it last Friday.On Tuesday, the cabinet is set for a marathon five-hour session amid rumours they could be preparing for a general election. Mrs May told her Conservative party members last week she would resign in the near future as long as her withdrawal agreement was voted through parliament.
On Monday, it was revealed the Conservatives chief whip, who heads up party discipline, had heavily criticised the cabinet’s behaviour. “This I think is the worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history,” Julian Smith told a BBC documentary.
Senior Conservatives have been hugely divided on the right way forward with Brexit.
Mr Smith also said it was inevitable there would be greater pressure for a so-called ‘soft’ Brexit after the government lost seats and their majority in the 2017 general election.