UK Prime Minister Theresa May today refused to give a new date for the delayed Brexit vote, prompting outrage from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking during a Prime Ministers Questions session ahead of her no-confidence vote this afternoon, May refused to give a date for when the Brexit withdrawal agreement vote would be held.
“The date of that vote will be announced in the normal way,” said May.
“We’ve had a meaningful vote: we had it in the referendum in 2016. And if he wants a meaningful vote I’ll give him one: 29th March 2019 when we leave the European Union.”
Corbyn responded with outrage to this proposal, in a riposte that was delivered at a roar.
“Totally and absolutely unacceptable to this house in any way,” he yelled across the podium.
“This house agreed a programme motion, this house agreed the five days of debate, this house agreed when the vote was going to take place. The government tried to unilaterally pull that and deny this house the chance of a vote on this crucial matter.”
Brexit vote key to no-confidence “chaos”
The Brexit vote on the withdrawal agreement was planned for earlier this week, but was delayed when it became clear that the government was not going to win. Its delay has been highly controversial, with opposition politicians questioning whether it is legally acceptable.
It has also proved key to the decision by 48 Tory MPs to issue letters of no-confidence in May, triggering the vote set for later today.
Corbyn has described the resulting fractures in the party as “on-going chaos at the centre of her government”.
He also questioned May’s trip to Europe yesterday to continue negotiations on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, arguing that May had not achieved any progress and dismissing the trip as “little journeys”. However, May questioned his motives in asking this.
“The right honourable gentleman couldn’t care less what I bring back from Brussels,” she said.
“He’s been clear that whatever I bring back he’s going to vote against it. All he wants to do is bring chaos to our economy.”