May: MPs are to blame for Brexit crisis
Theresa May has told MPs that they are responsible for the Brexit crisis engulfing Westminster, blaming the Commons for the delay to Britain leaving the EU.
The prime minister caused a fierce backlash from her own MPs, when she placed the blame for the Brexit delay on ‘political games and the arcane procedural rows’, in a speech made on Wednesday evening.
Speaking directly to the public, May said that “I am on your side,” adding that the three-month extension of article 50 she had requested from the EU was “a matter of great personal regret for me”.
Speaking on Wednesday, May said: “Of this I am absolutely sure: you the public have had enough. You’re tired of the infighting. You’re tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows.
“Tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit, when you have real concerns about your children’s schools, our national health service, knife crime. You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide,”
Several MPs reportedly called for May to resign on Wednesday evening, in the wake of her statement, which was delayed by 20 minutes, as she was meeting MPs who were willing to support her deal. David Evennett MP reportedly told May that her “time will have come to an end” if she did not resolve the Brexit crisis.
Tusk: EU will only back short delay if May’s deal passes
European council president Donald Tusk has said that the EU will only agree to a short delay to Brexit if Theresa May’s deal is voted through in the Commons next week.
After another day of chaotic scenes in Westminster, which saw May writing to Tusk asking for an extension to article 50 until 30 June, Tusk said that success was “frail, even illusory” on the eve of Thursday’s summit.
“In the light of the consultations that I have conducted over the past days I believe that a short extension will be possible but to be conditional on a positive vote on the withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons,” Tusk said.
“A question remains open as to the duration of such an extension. Prime Minister May’s proposal of the 30 June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a legal and political nature. Leaders will discuss this tomorrow.”
Corbyn walks out of PM’s Brexit meeting after Chuka Umunna invitation
Jeremy Corbyn walked out of a Brexit meeting arranged by Theresa May on Wednesday afternoon, after realising that Independent Group spokesman Chuka Umunna had also been invited.
The Labour leader had previously agreed to attend a meeting with the prime minister along with the SNP’s Ian Blackford, the Lib Dems’ Vince Cable, and the parliamentary leaders of Plaid Cymru and the Greens.
However those present at the meeting said that Corbyn had left due to the attendance of Umunna, who is not a party leader.
Umunna left the Labour party in February along with six other Labour MPs to form the Independent Group.
Speaking after the meeting, a Labour spokesman said: “It was not the meeting that had been agreed … the terms were broken” and that the party was talking to No 10 about holding a face-to-face meeting that Corbyn had earlier proposed at prime minister’s questions.
Miliband: May is a “roadblock” to Brexit process
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has told Theresa May she is “the roadblock to this House reaching a majority” over Brexit.
Speaking at Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions session in the Commons on Wednesday, Miliband told the prime minister that the Commons should have a series of “indicative votes” to set the next steps for Brexit.
Miliband blamed the prime minister for the Brexit impasse, urging her to “do a service to the country” and back indicative votes on a way forward.
Speaking on Wednesday, Miliband said: “Does the prime minister not realise that in her answer she is the roadblock to this house reaching a majority, not the facilitator of it.”
“It is blindingly obvious, including, I believe, to members of the cabinet, that what the House now needs to do is have a series of indicative votes precisely so that it can express its will, about what it is for, not simply what it is against. Why doesn’t the prime minister agree to that, and she would be doing a service to the country if she did?”