UK government pledges plan B within 3 days if Brexit deal rejected
The British government will accept a demand by parliament to set out its plan B within three working days if Prime Minister Theresa May's deal is rejected next week, Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons said Thursday.
The Parliament Wednesday voted for an amendment calling on the government to set out its plan B within three working parliamentary days of the Jan. 15 vote, rather than the 21 days specified in Brexit law.
Asked by a lawmaker whether the government would accept that timetable, Leadsom said: "Of course the government will do so, the prime minister has shown her willingness to always return to this House at the first possible opportunity if there is anything to report in terms of our Brexit deal and we will continue to do so."
Parliament is not due to sit on Jan. 18, so three working days will be Jan. 21.
Speaking of May's deal, British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Thursday that Labour would vote against it next week and if parliament voted it down then there should be a national election.
He noted that a national election took priority over a new referendum on Brexit. "If a general election cannot be secured, then we will keep all options on the table, including the option of campaigning for a public vote," Corbyn said in a speech in northern England.
"But an election must be the priority. It is not only the most practical option, it is also the most democratic option."
May is still working to achieve more assurances from the European Union on her Brexit deal before the end of a debate in parliament on it, according to her spokesman.
May postponed a planned vote on the deal in December after conceding it was set to be defeated and is now seeking assurances which she hopes will persuade lawmakers to back the agreement when they vote on it on Jan. 15.
(Cover: A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom (L) speaking at the dispatch box in the House of Commons in London on January 9, 2019. /VCG Photo)