May’s last bid to salvage Brexit deal now at risk

London, Thursday

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s (pictured) final bid to salvage her EU divorce deal appeared doomed on Wednesday as pro-Brexit Conservatives and opposition MPs rejected her attempts at a compromise to end months of deadlock.

The beleaguered leader is set to face a torrid session at Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament on the eve of European elections that Britain had not even expected to take part in three years after the Brexit referendum. The poll could see the vote of the two main parties decimated.

May vowed Tuesday to give lawmakers a vote on holding a public referendum on Brexit if they approve her unpopular withdrawal agreement in a series of votes starting in early June.

She also dangled a package of other sweeteners to the deal aimed at opposition Labour MPs, in a bid to break trenchant opposition which has seen parliament reject her plan three times this year. May has said she will leave office shortly after the measures she outlined are voted on—no matter the outcome.

However, MPs from across the political spectrum reacted furiously to the prime minister’s latest offer, with Conservative Brexiteers crying betrayal and Labour lawmakers saying she had not compromised enough.

In a sign of the scale of the backlash, Environment Secretary Michael Gove hinted that the vote in the week of June 3 may not go ahead after all. “We will reflect over the course of the next few days on how people look at the proposition,” he said. – AFP

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