May isn’t planning to let UK Parliament vote on Brexit options

By BLOOMBERG

LONDON • UK Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May (picture) 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’s office hit back yesterday, insisting she has “no plans” to let MPs give their views on the alternatives to her exit deal as talks are still ongoing with the European Union (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 yesterday.

He added that “there are are no plans to hold” indicative votes on alternative options for Brexit. “What the PM is focused on is on getting the extra assurances that are needed to get the deal through the Houses of Parliament.”

The UK 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.