Tory-Labour tussle over Brexit deepens, May not ready for second referendum


Nation special report

LONDON: The tussle between country’s two main political parties over the Brexit issue has jumped to all limits and Prime Minister Theresa May has categorically stated that holdinganother referendum on the EU would “break faith with the British people.

Former PMs John Major and Tony Blair are among those urging a new referendum if MPs cannot agree on a way forward. But Mrs May argues that it would do “irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics” and not settle the issue.

Downing Street said Mrs May, who called off a Commons vote on her Brexit deal last week, was focused on getting the extra assurances MPs needed to finally back it next month. “It had no plansfor votes on other Brexit outcomes if the PM’s deal is rejected after it emerged David Cameron was advising his successor”.

Meanwhile she faces the threat from Labour of a no-confidence motion in her as prime minister, if she fails to set a date for the delayed MPs’ vote on her proposed Brexit deal. But an EU spokesman said it had provided the “clarifications” requested on the contentious issue of the Northern Irish backstop and “no further meetings were foreseen”.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 – the deal sets out the terms of exit and includes a declaration on the outline of the future relations between the UK and the EU. But it only comes into force if the UK and European Parliaments approve it. The prime minister has signalled MPs will now vote on this early next year, and no later than 21 January.

Jeremy denies

Meanwhile, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn denied reports calling Prime Minister Theresa May a “stupid woman” in the House of Commons. Jeremy Corbyn was caught on camera appearing to mutter the insult during the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session. He denied, it, saying instead that he had called Conservative lawmakers “stupid people.”
The always-lively session was even more heated than usual, as lawmakers’ frustrations and divisions over Brexit boiled over into raucous shouting and personal jibes. Britain expected to leave the European Union on March 29 but lawmakers from many political stances are against May’s Brexit plan.

Conservative legislators yelled “Shame!” and “Disgraceful!” at Corbyn after the alleged jibe. “I did not use the words ‘stupid woman’ about the prime minister or anyone else, and am completely opposed to the use of sexist or misogynist language in absolutely any form at all,” Corbyn said.
The incident came as Britain’s Parliament attempts to end bullying, abuse and sexual harassment. Earlier this year, a cross-party working group reported that one in five parliamentary workers had experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the previous year.
It’s not the first time a male political leader in Britain has been accused of using sexist language.