May pushes back vote on EU deal, will take place by 12th March

Theresa May has revealed that the next Parliamentary vote on her UK-EU deal has been delayed. It will now take place by 12th March, which means MPs could vote on a deal just weeks before the UK is set to leave the European Union after a two year Article 50 process.

Speaking on the way to an EU-Arab League summit, the Prime Minister has said: “I was in Brussels last week. Ministers were in Brussels last week. My team will be back in Brussels again this coming week. They will be returning to Brussels on Tuesday.

“As a result of that we won’t bring a meaningful vote to Parliament this week. But we will ensure that that happens by March 12th.

“But it is still within our grasp to leave the European Union with a deal on March 29th.”

It comes as senior Remainer MPs in her own Cabinet push for a delay to Brexit in order to block a No Deal exit on WTO terms. International trade Secretary Liam Fox has hit back and pointed out that “taking No Deal off the table would be to remove the single strongest card that we have in our negotiation with the EU itself and would therefore fundamentally weaken our position”. The Cabinet is at war, May is running down the clock and the public just want Brexit delivered whether that is with or without a deal.

May will be seeking to pressure Brexiteer MPs into backing whatever potential tweaks she has agreed with Brussels. Ambition on changes to the backstop seems to have been demoted from concrete legal changes in the Withdrawal Agreement to some form of words. Not exactly reassuring: a £39 billion EU trap has already been rejected and would be totally unacceptable.

The clock is rapidly ticking down to 29th March, the day that Theresa May has promised the UK will be leaving the EU, on time. 17.4 million Brits did not vote for a deal, they voted for Brexit. For MPs to betray the people on this would be devastating for trust and faith in our democracy. The clock is ticking, politicians must deliver on the will of the people as they promised to do in 2016.

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