LONDON: Following the survival in non-confidence move, Prime Minister Theresa May and senior Cabinet ministers are meeting representatives of other parties in a bid to find consensus to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit.
But Labour accused the Prime Minister of failing to show “good faith” by insisting that she will not drop her negotiating red lines.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to meet Mrs May until she takes the prospect of a no-deal Brexit off the table, and was instead going on the offensive by delivering a speech in a marginal Conservative constituency.
A Conservative “Right to Vote” campaign for a second EU referendum was launched by MP Phillip Lee, who claimed support for a so-called People’s Vote was “growing fast” among his colleagues on the Tory benches.
After seeing off a vote of no-confidence in her Government on Wednesday, Mrs May invited the other party leaders for individual talks to find a way forward on Brexit. But she told the House of Commons she was holding to the “principles” behind the Withdrawal Agreement which was roundly rejected by MPs on Tuesday, including control of borders, laws and money and an independent trade policy.
Aides later said that the requirement for an independent trade policy was incompatible with membership of a European customs union – something which Labour regards as essential.
Shadow cabinet minister Barry Gardiner said Mrs May was clinging to her red lines because she knew that any compromise on them would “break the Conservative Party” by pushing eurosceptic backbenchers in the European Research Group (ERG) to desert her.
“If she wants to negotiate with all parties in Parliament, and if she wants to do that in good faith, she has to say ‘OK, I’m not sticking to every single one of the red lines that I’ve established’,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Theresa May has seen off a bid to remove her government from power, winning a no-confidence vote by 325 to 306. Rebel Tory MPs and the DUP – who 24 hours earlier rejected the PM’s Brexit plan by a huge margin – voted to keep her in Downing Street.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn argued that Mrs May’s “zombie” administration had lost the right to govern.
Mrs May will be making a statement from Downing Street at around 2200 GMT.
The PM won the vote by a margin of 19, including 10 votes from the DUP. Had the party voted against her, she would have lost by one.
Giving her reaction to the result, Mrs May told MPs she would “continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union”.