UK PM May’s final Brexit vote fails as end of her reign draws near
LONDON : British Prime Minister Theresa May's final Brexit gambit was in tatters yesterday 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.
Mrs May is trying one last time to get her divorce deal approved by the British parliament before her crisis-riven premiership ends.
On Tuesday, she 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 Mrs May's Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, legislation which implements the terms of Britain's departure. Some intensified efforts to oust her.
"We are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum," Mr Boris Johnson, the bookies' favourite to be Britain's 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.
As Britain headed again into Brexit turmoil, US investment bank JP Morgan raised its probability of a no-deal Brexit to 25 per cent from 15 per cent, saying its base case was that Mr Johnson would become Prime Minister followed by a general election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party could not vote for the Withdrawal Bill, describing Mrs May's new offer as "largely a rehash of the government's position" in talks with the opposition that broke down last week.- REUTERS
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