Brexit deal ‘dead’ if MPs reject it again next month

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Theresa May’s Brexit deal will be “dead” if MPs reject it for a fourth time next month, a senior minister has admitted.

The Brexit secretary declared that if the bid to turn it into law failed, it would lead to “more fundamental questions” about whether to stop Brexit or leave the EU with no deal.

He confirmed a key vote would take place in the first week of June on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay outside Downing Street
Image: Stephen Barclay warned the deal could be killed off next month

This is the law the government needs to pass to put its deal struck with Brussels back in November onto the statute book.

Tory MPs are waiting to see what it looks like – given Mrs May has struck up compromise talks with Labour to find an agreement both parties could vote for.

Reports suggest it could represent a softening of the government’s refusal to maintain a customs union with the EU, and greater protections for workers’ and environmental rights.

But one Tory Brexiteer told Sky News the bill would never pass.

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“She’s missed the point that she can’t pass a deal,” they said.

“Somebody else might. She can’t. Nobody trusts her.”

The prime minister tried to assuage her backbenchers’ fears during PMQs on Wednesday, promising she would end free movement and not pay for market access to the EU.

Theresa may is coming under even more pressure to step down
Image: Theresa May told MPs she would not pay for market access to the EU

But she was confronted by one of them, Peter Bone, who brandished a letter from local volunteers calling for her to resign.

Mrs May has promised to step down if her Brexit deal passes, but has so far resisted pressure to name a date she would leave if it does not.

The elections are due to be held in May
Image: European Parliament elections are taking place next week

All parties are braced for a testing day at the ballot box next Thursday, when Britons go to the polls to elect a new group of MEPs.

The European Parliament elections are taking place because the UK is still in the EU, after two delays to the exit date.

Britain is now on course to leave by 31 October, unless MPs pass a divorce deal sooner.

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