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Brexit News Live | Theresa May promises parliamentary vote on second referendum in desperate bid to force through exit plan



Theresa May says the biggest problem with Britain today "is its politics" and tells MPs: "We can fix that."

 She says that in the years ahead parliament will be able to refine the UK's future relationship with the EU, but that her deal must be passed if Britain is to leave the bloc.

The prime minster says she is "making a new offer to seek common ground in parliament" and that this is "now the only way to deliver Brexit".

She says she has compromised and urges MPs to do the same to help her to deliver on the result of the referendum.

On the issue of a second referendum, Theresa May says she there will be a provision in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill that would guarantee a parliamentary vote on whether to have a referendum on the Brexit deal

 If the bill passes its second reading in the Commons, this vote of MPs would be held before the deal is ratified. She urges supporters of a second referendum to therefore vote for her bill.

Rebuffing calls for a full customs union with the EU, Ms May says one of the main benefits of Brexit will be the UK's ability to strike trade deals with other countries.

 But she says, she wants "as close as possible to frictionless trade at the EU-UK border".

 She says the government has already put forward a plan that would deliver this, but that it was rejected by the EU. Labour, meanwhile, wants to ensure frictionless trade by entering into a full customs union with the EU.

She says she offered Labour the option of a temporary customs union on goods only but that this was not agreed.

 The government will therefore commit to letting parliament decide between the two options, she says.

Theresa May says she is making a "serious offer" to MPs in the form of a "new Brexit deal".

 The prime minister says she will legislate to make it a binding duty on the government to find an alternative to the controversial Northern Ireland backstop. Addressing DUP concerns, she says that, if the backstop is implemented, the whole UK will adopt the same rules and tariffs as Northern Ireland. 

 But, she says, she needs cross-party support if she is to deliver Brexit. Adopting a plan proposed by Labour MPs Lisa Nandy and Gareth Snell, she says parliament will be given more control over the UK's future relationship with the EU. And she guarantees there will be no weakening of workers' rights or environmental protections after Brexit.

How May summed up her "New Brexit Deal' in 10 points

Here is the section from May’s speech in which she summed up her offer as a 10-point plan.

"So our New Brexit Deal makes a ten-point offer to everyone in Parliament who wants to deliver the result of the referendum.

One - the government will seek to conclude alternative arrangements to replace the backstop by December 2020, so that it never needs to be used.

Two - a commitment that, should the backstop come into force, the government will ensure that Great Britain will stay aligned with Northern Ireland.

Three - the negotiating objectives and final treaties for our future relationship with the EU will have to be approved by MPs.

Four - a new workers’ rights bill that guarantees workers’ rights will be no less favourable than in the EU.

Five - there will be no change in the level of environmental protection when we leave the EU.

Six - the UK will seek as close to frictionless trade in goods with the EU as possible while outside the single market and ending free movement.

Seven - we will keep up to date with EU rules for goods and agri-food products that are relevant to checks at border protecting the thousands of jobs that depend on just-in-time supply chains.

Eight - the government will bring forward a customs compromise for MPs to decide on to break the deadlock.

Nine - there will be a vote for MPs on whether the deal should be subject to a referendum.

And ten – there will be a legal duty to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect this new deal.

All of these commitments will be guaranteed in law – so they will endure at least for this parliament.


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