England

May’s Brexit gambit fails as her premiership fades

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa Mays final Brexit gambit was in tatters on Wednesday just hours after her offer of a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements failed to win over either opposition lawmakers or many in her own party.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on Brexit in London, Britain May 21, 2019. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

Nearly three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, May is trying one last time to get her divorce deal approved by the British parliament before her crisis-riven premiership ends.

May on Tuesday appealed to lawmakers to get behind her deal, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives.

Conservative and Labour lawmakers lined up to criticise Mays Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, legislation which implements the terms of Britains departure. Some upped efforts to oust her.

“We are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum,” Boris Johnson, the bookies favourite to be Britains next prime minister, said.

“The Bill is directly against our manifesto – and I will not vote for it. We can and must do better – and deliver what the people voted for,” he said.

The deadlock in London means it is unclear how, when or even if Britain will leave the European club it joined in 1973. The current deadline to leave is Oct. 31.

Britains labyrinthine crisis over Brexit has stunned allies and foes alike, and with deadlock in London, the worlds fifth largest economy faces an array of options including an exit with a deal to smooth the transition, a no-deal exit, an election or a second referendum.

The pound weakened 0.2 percent to a 4-month low at $1.2681.

As Britain headed again into Brexit turmoil, U.S. investment bank JPMorgan raised its probability of a no-deal Brexit to 25% from 15%, saying its base case was that Johnson would become prime minister followed by a general election.

JPMorgan raised the probability of an Article 50 extension to 60% versus 50% before and cut the probability of exit on the terms of Mays Withdrawal Agreement to 15% from 35%.

“ADMIT DEFEAT”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party could not vote for the Withdrawal Bill, describing Mays new offer as “largely a rehash of the governments position” in talks with the opposition that broke down last week.

“Its far too weak. It doesnt really offer anything new or anything bold,” Labors Brexit spokesman Kier Starer said.

“Its already pretty clear that its heading for a pretty big loss and I think frankly the prime minister would do well to just admit defeat and I think she should announce today that shes not going to put the vote because its clearly heading in the wrong direction.”

May wrote to Corbyn, asking him to compromise so that Brexit could take place.

“I have shown today that I am willing to compromise to deliver Brexit for the British people,” May wroteRead More – Source

RT

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