Theresa May urges MPs to back Brexit deal ahead of perilous vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May | Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Theresa May urges MPs to back Brexit deal ahead of perilous vote

The prime minister confirmed Sunday the vote will ‘definitely’ happen in mid-January.


1/6/19, 1:02 PM CET

Updated 1/6/19, 2:40 PM CET

U.K. prime minister Theresa May used a television and print media blitz Sunday to reject calls for the second referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

May urged members of parliament to back the Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union and insisted the Parliament vote will happen as planned mid-January. She refused to rule out repeated votes on the same deal if she loses first time round.

“This deal delivers on the referendum, protects jobs and security and provides certainty for citizens and businesses,” Theresa May said in a television interview Sunday with the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

“Don’t let the search for the perfect Brexit be the enemy of the good,” May said, a reference to the criticisms of hardline Brexiteers and EU supporters such as former European Commissioner Peter Mandelson, who argue the deal undermines British sovereignty and should be rejected.

EU leaders have refused to alter the Brexit deal to help May, leaving her able to promise only a “greater role for Parliament as we take this negotiation further.”

May slammed MPs asking for a second referendum. “It would divide our country and we wouldn’t be able to organize a referendum before March 29,” she said, pointing out it would therefore require an extension of Article 50 (the treaty article allowing withdrawals from the EU).

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