Theresa May is making a desperate push to get her Brexit deal approved in Parliament to avoid a huge delay to Britain’s divorce from the EU, even though she’s facing what seem to be impossible odds.
British members of Parliament, who have twice rejected May’s deal, will be asked to approve the Withdrawal Agreement, in a vote Friday, said House Leader Andrea Leadsom.
But the British prime minister has so far failed to win over enough of her allies to support the deal. If May can’t get her deal through Friday, the EU says Britain will have to choose between leaving with no deal on April 12 and a long delay that would require it to take part in European Parliament elections.
May has tried everything, including promising to quit, but has still not convinced all her own Conservative Party colleagues or the 10 members of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party that prop up her minority government.
“We can all agree we don’t want to be in the situation of asking for another extension and facing the potential requirement of participating in European Parliament elections,” Leadsom told the House Thursday.
All week, May’s government has said it will only bring back her deal for a third vote if it thinks it will win. Her plan to bring it back last week was also thrown off course by House Speaker John Bercow, who invoked a 400 year-old tradition to rule that May couldn’t bring the same deal back for another vote.
To get around that, May’s vote on Friday will hold back the part of the package that focuses on future trade and security relationship, known as the Political Declaration. Friday’s motion would at least meet the requirements of the EU, while giving Parliament space to work out a way forward, Leadsom said.