Two days to go for the crucial Brexit vote in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday cautioned her own and opposition MPs that the UK will be thrown into ‘uncharted waters’ of the withdrawal agreement is rejected.
There will be “grave uncertainty”, May said, if on Tuesday parliament does not pass the agreement secured from Brussels after over two years of negotiations following the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union.
For different reasons, over 100 ruling Conservative MPs have declared their intention to vote against the agreement, besides the opposition Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up the minority May government.
Westminster is abuzz with reports that May is likely to resign on Wednesday if the vote is rejected the previous day. Esther McVey, who resigned from May’s cabinet last week, said it would be “very difficult” for May to stay on in the aftermath.
After canvassing support across the country over the last week, May told The Mail on Sunday that the UK “would truly be in uncharted waters” if the deal is voted down: “It would mean grave uncertainty for the nation with a very real risk of no Brexit”.
“We have a leader of the opposition who thinks of nothing but attempting to bring about a general election, no matter what the cost to the country… I believe Jeremy Corbyn getting his hands on power is a risk we cannot afford to take.”
She told her MPs: ‘If you want Brexit, make sure you get it, and that’s about this deal.”
On reports that May could postpone Tuesday’s vote in the House, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The vote is going ahead”.
Leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson continued to flay May and her government.
He wrote in The Sun: “This is a great country, capable of rising to immense challenges – and I believe the people of this country are fed up to the back teeth of being told by their government that they are simply incapable of managing the logistical problems of Brexit, when for two and a half years this government has studiously and deliberately failed to address those logistical problems”.
“It is that failure and that lack of resolve that has so weakened our hand in the talks”.
Meanwhile, security forces and government departments are bracing to deal with any situation following Tuesday’s vote, which is widely expected to be rejected in the House.
First Published: Dec 09, 2018 17:34 IST
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