LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs attempting to delay Brexit that it would not solve the situation. “The decision remains the same – the deal, no-deal or no Brexit,” she said at Prime Minister’s Questions.
MPs are proposing alternative plans to the PM’s deal with the EU, including seeking an extension to the UK’s exit date – which is currently scheduled to happen at 23:00 GMT on 29 March. But the prime minister has said the “right way” to rule out no-deal Brexit is to approve her withdrawal agreement.
Under current law, the UK will exit the EU on 29 March, whether or not a deal has been struck. The decision to leave was taken by 52% to 48% in a referendum in June 2016.
Mrs May attacked the Labour leader for refusing to take part in cross-party talks with her on the way forward. “The Right Honourable Gentleman has been willing to sit down with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA without preconditions, yet he won’t meet me to talk about Brexit,” she told MPs.
Mrs May said a customs union meant that business can export without facing red tape, and her proposed deal would deliver that, while allowing the UK to have its own trade policy. And she suggested the Labour leader did not know what his policy meant and what the “implications” of it would be for UK trade.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of having a “closed mind” to other Brexit options, such as Labour’s plan for a customs union with the EU. But the PM attacked him for refusing to meet her and said he did not “have a clue” what his own policy meant.
Jeremy Corbyn used Prime Minister’s Questions to repeat his call for Mrs May to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Mr Corbyn said: “The door to her office may be open but the minds inside are completely closed.”
He said there could be a majority in the Commons for staying in a customs union, and it was also backed by business and the trade unions and some Tory MPs, so why not get behind it?