MPs will vote again on Brexit next month – despite no deal between Tories and Labour
Theresa May will attempt to force her Brexit deal through parliament for the fourth time of asking next month – despite not yet reaching an agreement with Labour.
Downing Street has revealed May will put forward the legislation needed for the UK to leave the EU in the week commencing 3 June.
The announcement came after May met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for an hour on Tuesday evening as part of the ongoing talks between the frontbenches to find a way through the Brexit stalemate.
The Labour leader made it clear he would not be backing May on 3 June unless the government could guarantee any agreement reached between the parties would not be torn up by a future Conservative leader.
Fears that a deal would not hold were raised when 14 backbench Tories, including potential leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, wrote an open letter to the PM warning striking a deal keeping the UK in the EU’s customs union after Brexit – even on a temporary basis – would split the Conservative party.
“No leader can bound his or her successor, so the deal would likely be at best temporary, at worst illusory,” said the letter.
Speaking after the meeting between Corbyn and May, a Labour party spokesperson said: "The Labour leader set out the shadow cabinet's concerns about the Prime Minister's ability to deliver on any compromise agreement.
"In particular he raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Conservative MPs and Cabinet Ministers seeking to replace the Prime Minister.
"Jeremy Corbyn made clear the need for further movement from the government, including on entrenchment of any commitments.
"The Prime Minister’s team agreed to bring back documentation and further proposals tomorrow."
A Downing Street spokesperson described the talks as “useful and constructive” as they confirmed the plan for a vote in the week beginning 3 June.
They said: “It is imperative we do so then if the UK is to leave the EU before the summer Parliamentary recess.”
The spokesperson added: “Tomorrow talks will continue at an official level as we seek the stable majority in Parliament that will ensure the safe passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the UK’s swift exit from the EU.”
Presenting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill instead of holding another meaningful vote means MPs will not be voting on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
However, the legislation could be amended as it goes through parliament.
The UK’s future relationship with the EU has formed the basis of the talks between the Conservative and Labour leadership teams, which have been ongoing since the beginning of April.
Labour favour a customs union with the EU after Brexit, while May has repeatedly said the UK should have an independent trade policy.
May oversaw a marathon session of Cabinet on Tuesday in which she presented compromises she was prepared to make to get Labour to back her withdrawal deal.