Theresa May has issued a plea to MPs to back a Brexit deal, telling Parliament to “do its duty” ahead of another series of votes on the Government’s negotiating strategy.
The British Prime Minister said she had found a “real determination” in Brussels to find a way through the deadlock to allow the UK to leave with a deal, and claimed engagement with the European Union had “already begun to bear fruit”.
Mrs May accepted for the first time on Tuesday that the UK may not leave the EU on March 29, offering MPs a chance to vote to delay Brexit if her deal is rejected again next month.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mrs May said Parliament’s “absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on March 29” – and reiterated her opposition to delaying Britain’s departure.
She said: “By committing Labour to holding a second referendum, despite promising to implement Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has shown once again that he cannot be trusted to keep his promises. His cynical political games would take us back to square one.
“Instead, Parliament should do its duty so that our country can move forward.
Parliament should do its duty so that our country can move forward.
“We want to leave the EU with a deal that gives us the best of both worlds: a close relationship with our nearest neighbours and the chance to make the most of our talents and resources by building new relationships with growing economies around the world.”
MPs will vote on the Prime Minister’s negotiating strategy for Brexit and a series of amendments on Wednesday evening, ahead of another “meaningful vote” on Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement next month.
Mrs May was warned by a ministerial aide that she faces an “enormous defeat” in the Commons on Wednesday unless she gives in to demands to seek a treaty on citizens’ rights after Brexit.
More than 60 Conservatives are understood to have signed an amendment tabled by Alberto Costa calling for a separate agreement with the European Union to protect the rights of expats even if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Labour is also supporting the amendment and Mr Costa said it would be a “farce” if the Government did not back down.
He told the Press Association his amendment, which already has support from 130 MPs ranging from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Tory arch-Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, would give the Prime Minister a mandate to push for a change with her fellow EU leaders.