Last week Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Theresa May and offered Labour’s support for her deal if she could meet his five demands. The Prime Minister responded to say that, although she was willing to make some concessions on the environment and workers’ rights, she would definitely not agree to his demands regarding a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union.
May originally planned to return to Parliament this week with a renegotiated deal for MPs’ approval. However, yesterday she made a statement asking for more time and confirmed that tomorrow we will debate an amendable motion reflecting the words of Graham Brady’s ‘Malthouse Compromise’ amendment on the Northern Ireland backstop. She also said that if there is no deal by February 26th, she will make a statement to MPs and hold a debate on another amendable motion on February 27th.
Labour has tabled an amendment to tomorrow’s motion which would oblige the Government to hold a new vote by February 27th if no deal has been passed by then. The amendment states that this should either be a vote on the revised deal or that a minister “should make a written statement declaring that there is no longer an agreement in principle in the negotiations with the European Union” and table an amendable motion on how the Government proposes to proceed. We believe that this will have cross-party support.
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday accused the Prime Minister of trying to blackmail MPs into supporting her deal by deliberately running down the clock and forcing us into a situation where we have to choose between her deal and a no-deal exit.