British Prime Minister Theresa May offered a ‘new Brexit deal’ which raises the possibility of a second referendum. While the offer will soon be introduced in parliament, it was quickly slammed by Labor and Conservative MPs alike.
May put forward a ‘New Brexit Deal’ in her speech Tuesday, proposing a 10 point plan for negotiations going forward. The new plan includes an offer for a second referendum that would allow a public ratification of the exit deal, which has yet to take shape.
The offer also touched on arrangements for the Irish border, a worker’s rights bill, environmental issues and post-Brexit trade agreements.
“I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise,” the prime minister said in the speech, warning of a “nightmare future of permanently polarized politics” in the event no deal is reached.
Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the first to respond to the proposal.
“The prime minister’s proposal tonight seems to be largely a rehash of the government’s position in the cross party talks that failed to reach a compromise last week,” Corbyn said in a statement Tuesday, after May’s latest attempt to end negotiations over the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“We will of course look seriously at the details of the withdrawal agreement bill when it is published,” he said. “But we won’t back a repackaged version of the same old deal.”
The new proposal appears to have many sides miffed, leaving nobody happy.
“Both Labor and Conservatives are really in a bit of turmoil, and I’m not convinced that [May’s] really quite ambiguous remarks today will persuade many people,” British politician and political commentator Jonathan Fryer told RT.
“What we’ve seen today is basically her pulling a rabbit out of a hat, in other words dangling the prospect of a referendum” before MPs, Fryer added.
Conservative MPs also reacted with disappointment.
“I’m frustrated,” said Conservative MP Andrew Percy. “I really am concerned about the proposed possibility of a second referendum. People were told in the referendum, it was the final say on the matter for a generation – it would be implemented.”
The deputy head of the Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which has been supportive of May, wasn’t impressed with the speech either.
“All the attention in Westminster is focused on what comes after the prime minister, that’s one of the problems she has now in terms of delivering this kind of hodgepodge set of proposals,” DUP’s Nigel Dodds told Irish media.
May’s offer comes just days before the EU’s parliamentary election, where the UK’s participation has generated some controversy given the country’s ongoing attempt to exit the union.
After months of wrangling over the exit deal, the PM has vowed to resign after the British Parliament votes on key Brexit legislation in June.
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