Prime Minister Theresa May has promised MPs a final vote on her Brexit deal. However, the decisive vote won’t come until she has secured changes to the Irish backstop clause. And as Mrs May yet again asked for more time to fix her controversial deal today, people are starting to worry if the EU Withdrawal Agreement will ever be ready.
Will Theresa May ever have Brexit deal ready?
Theresa May seems determined to have her Brexit deal ready before the UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.
However, MPs are losing their patience and time is quickly running out.
Jeremy Corbyn today accused the Mrs May of “running down the clock” in an effort to “blackmail” MPs into backing her deal as the Prime Minister made her second Brexit holding statement today.
Speaking at the House of Commons today, Mr Corbyn said: “In truth it appears the prime minister has just one real tactic: to run down the clock hoping members of this house are blackmailed into supporting a deeply flawed deal.
“This is an irresponsible act. She is playing for time and playing with people’s jobs, our economic security and the future of our industry.
In response to the claim, the Prime Minister said: “Mr Corbyn talked about running down the clock. No, I wanted to have this sorted before Christmas.”
Mrs May also refused to rule out a final vote on her deal being delayed until March.
And now more than a dozen ministers could join the revolt at the showdown on February 27 as MPs said the votes will be the crunch moment for a no deal.
Mrs May was on her feet for more than two hours in the House of Commons today taking questions after her government has been forced to hold regular ministerial statements and debates.
But Mrs May fuelled anger she is playing for time to reach March 29 by refusing to give a firm date by which a final vote on her deal will be held.
Labour and some Conservative MPs had been planning to have a fresh go at putting alternatives to the Prime Minister’s deal to the vote on Thursday, in an effort to take control of the Brexit process.
MPs and peers, including former ministers Phillip Lee, Sam Gyimah, Guto Bebb and Lord Willetts said her current Brexit deal “risks further dividing our nation and costing jobs” and is “highly unlikely” to benefit families and communities.
Writing to Mrs May, they said: “It is now fewer than 50 days until we are due to leave the European Union. The gridlock over Brexit continues in parliament.
“We are now effectively faced with the stark reality between a devastating no deal, for which the country would rightly never forgive us, and a compromise which virtually no one on any side of the argument is happy with.
“Whatever your view on Brexit itself, everyone can now see that we are not ready to leave on 29 March.
“It’s not just businesses but families too that are now being impacted by the uncertainty.
“This is not Project Fear, it is Operation Reality. As you have said repeatedly, we do not want a ‘disorderly’ Brexit. We should not be inflicting one on our country.”
Mrs May’s announcement of returning to update MPs on 26 February and then more votes on 27 February – if she has still not got a final deal – meant Thursday’s expected “high noon” for Mrs May had probably been postponed.
However, MPs are still expected to debate and vote on amendments to the Brexit deal on Thursday although it will not be known until later what those amendments are likely to be.