If we want Brexit, Theresa May must go

If we want Brexit, Theresa May must go

The Prime Minister said she had done "everything in my power" to persuade Tory and DUP MPs to back her deal but acknowledged the Withdrawal Agreement had been rejected by the Commons three times and "there is no sign it can be passed in the near future".

Getting a majority of MPs to back a Brexit deal is the only way for the United Kingdom to leave the EU, Mrs May said.

The Prime Minister, who has been accused by Labour of failing to propose changes to her deal in cross-party negotiations, insisted their positions offered "the basis for a compromise".

"We need to do that quickly because, I think, going into the European Union elections for the Conservative Party, or indeed for the Labour Party, and telling our constituents why we haven't been able to deliver Brexit, I think would be an existential threat", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Shadow business minister Rebecca Long-Bailey, a member of Labour's negotiating team, said it was "disappointing" that there had not been any shift in the Government's red lines but "the overall mood is quite a positive and hopeful one". But we should be open to listen to suggestions that others have made.

British MPs have rejected May's European Union divorce bill three times over the controversial Irish backstop clause and last week's talks between the two main parties were aimed at trying to find a proposal which could break the deadlock in the Commons before an emergency European Union summit on Wednesday. "As I say, we had great discussions and we went into a lot of technical details but so far we haven't seen anything from government that would suggest they are prepared to change any part of the deal going forward".

Ahead of a week in which she will go to Brussels seeking to secure a further delay to the UK's departure, the Prime Minister said: "The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the United Kingdom never leaving at all".

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Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "We are engaged in these talks in good faith but the Government perhaps has to show a little more flexibility than it seems to have done so far".

The longer this lasts, the greater the risk that the United Kingdom will not leave at all, the prime minister underlined.

Mrs May has asked for a delay until June 30 but wants to terminate any extension before the European polls if she is able to get a deal through Parliament.

She added: "I think a People's Vote has its difficulties. I will not stand for that", she said.

Britain voted by 52 to 48 per cent in 2016 to leave the European Union, and parliament, May's cabinet and the country at large remain deeply polarised over the terms of Brexit and even whether to depart at all.

May badly needs a breakthrough in London before she travels to Brussels on Wednesday.

An extension requires unanimous approval from the 27 remaining leaders, some of whom are fed up with Brexit uncertainty and reluctant to prolong it further.

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