Theresa May urges MPs to ‘break the deadlock’ and back cross-party Brexit talks | Politics News
Theresa May has issued yet another Brexit rallying cry in a bid to convince MPs to push a deal through parliament.
Speaking after disappointing local election results for the Conservatives and Labour – which she and Jeremy Corbyn claimed were a message from voters to get on with taking Britain out of the EU – the prime minister said the Commons needed to act with “fresh urgency” to end the impasse.
Writing in the Mail On Sunday, Mrs May said she understood why some Tory colleagues were “uncomfortable” with her decision to hold cross-party talks to try and secure a deal, but urged them to support her efforts.
She said: “I negotiated with the EU what I believe is a very good deal for the UK – a deal which allows us to genuinely take back control of our money and our laws. The free movement of people will end – giving us control of our own borders for the first time in decades.
“However, I could not persuade enough of my colleagues to vote for the withdrawal agreement and, regrettably, I have to accept there is no sign of that position changing.”
Mrs May said her discussions with Labour were designed to find a “unified” position on Brexit and said they were part of final attempts to “break the deadlock” after the local election results – which saw the Conservatives lose more than 1,300 seats and control of almost 50 councils, while Labour lost around 80 seats.
She continued: “We will keep negotiating, and keep trying to find a way through. Because the real thing that matters now is delivering Brexit and moving on to all the other issues people care about.
“The longer that takes, the greater the risk we will not leave at all.
“We need to get out of the EU and get a deal over the line.”
The newspaper piece comes after Justice Secretary David Gauke acknowledged that the two main parties needed to compromise if Brexit was to be delivered.
He argued they had a responsibility to secure a “sensible” agreement that safeguarded jobs and livelihoods, although the plea suffered an immediate setback in the form of shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer.
The Labour frontbencher accused cabinet members of being more concerned with who might be the next Tory leader after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that a customs union would not be a “long-term solution”.
Sir Keir said the comments – which contradicted one of the key demands from Labour – provided “yet more evidence” that many in the cabinet believe the “most important thing right now” is the race to succeed Mrs May.
Despite the tension, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has suggested a deal could be struck between the two under-performing parties within just a few days.
She told reporters at the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen: “We are getting closer and closer. There’s not that much between the two parties as I understand it from people in the room.”
At the same event, Environment Secretary Michael Gove issued a renewed plea for MPs to back the deal Mrs May has negotiated with Brussels – an agreement the Commons has rejected three times.
He insisted that the agreement “enables us to leave the EU while safeguarding essential interests and liberating us to enjoy new opportunities” and urged colleagues to support it if and when it returns to parliament again.