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Theresa May hopes to be third time lucky with Brexit vote

Press Trust of India  |  London 

British on Sunday called on her rebellious MPs to do the patriotic thing to strike an honourable compromise over as she prepares to table her twice-defeated withdrawal agreement to another next week, hoping it would prove third time lucky for her.

Her latest plea came at the end of a frenetic week in Westminster as MPs voted on a flurry of motions, not just ruling out leaving the (EU) with May's deal but also without any deal in place at all, calling for a delay to the March 29 Day deadline.

May warned deeply divided Brexiteers within her own party and across the that failure to once again support her deal, which was defeated by a resounding 230-vote margin in January and a smaller 149-vote margin last week, would mean the UK may not leave the EU for many months and may even rule out altogether.

She urged MPs to get behind her improved deal before a summit in next week, with legally binding changes to the controversial Irish backstop clause addressing concerns that the UK could be tied to EU rules indefinitely.

If Parliament can find a way to back the Brexit deal before European Council, the UK will leave the EU this spring, without having to take part in the European elections If it cannot, we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever, she writes in The Sunday Telegraph'.

As things stand, May is hoping to return to with a Parliament-backed deal to seek a short delay until June 30 to complete procedures.

It is for the EU to decide the terms and conditions of any extension because legally the UK is still due to leave the economic bloc on March 29.

With elections scheduled to take place towards the end of May, if the remains deadlocked over an exit strategy, the EU is expected to agree to only a lengthy delay to the Article 50 Brexit mechanism.

Such a move would necessitate Britain's participation in the polls.

The idea of the British people going to the polls to elect MEPs [Members of European Parliament] three years after voting to leave the EU hardly bears thinking about. There could be no more potent symbol of Parliament's collective political failure, warned.

Against this backdrop, she is set for a last-ditch attempt at getting her deal through the Commons as she seeks to change the mind of 75 MPs to vote differently from last week and win the required majority.

For those who backed remain, I am asking them to remove any chance of the UK staying in the EU. For those who backed leave, I am asking them to vote for a form of Brexit that may not be everything they hoped for, she urged.

There are some signs that hard-Brexiteers might be ready to change their minds over fears of a lengthy delay or no Brexit at all, with a letter signed by Tory MPs from Leave-backing constituencies, including former Brexit David Davis, urging colleagues to back the deal.

The Northern (DUP), which has voted against the agreement twice already, also held out some hope, saying that while there were "still issues to be discussed", it remained in talks with the government.

The 10 votes provided by the DUP, which provides Theresa May's government with its crucial Commons majority, are key to the British proving third time lucky with agreement.

Meanwhile, Opposition has written to MPs across the Commons inviting them for talks to find a cross-party compromise over Brexit.

In his letter, he called for urgent meetings to find a "solution that ends the needless uncertainty and worry" caused by May's "failed" Brexit negotiations.

Meanwhile, a latest opinion poll conducted by Opinium for the Observer' newspaper exposed the lingering divisions across the country over Brexit, with an equal set of people (43 per cent each) found backing a second referendum and leaving the EU without a deal by March 29.

The poll found that if a second referendum were held with the options of accepting Theresa May's deal or remaining in the EU on the ballot paper, 46 per cent said they would back remain, against 36 per cent who would vote to leave on the terms of the British Prime Minister's proposal.

The figures will encourage remain supporters ahead of a mass demonstration and march in favour of a second referendum scheduled to take place in next Saturday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 17:30 IST