Cabinet backs PM’s Brexit compromises offer

The cabinet has agreed Theresa May’s plan for her Withdrawal Agreement Bill, including compromises intended to attract the support of Labour MPs.

It includes the idea of a temporary customs relationship until the next general election, and measures on the environment and workers’ rights.

The bill will be put to a vote in early June, and if it fails, the PM is likely to come under intense pressure to quit.
She will give a speech on the latest developments at 16:00 BST.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said MPs and ministers who were not at cabinet would be briefed before the PM’s speech, entitled “A new Brexit deal – seeking common ground in Parliament”.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is legislation required to bring the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU into British law.

MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement three times, and talks with Labour on finding a compromise deal acceptable to their MPs broke down last week.

Downing Street said there was a “shared determination” in cabinet to find a way of passing the legislation although it conceded “strong opinions” had been aired on how best to do this.

At the meeting, Mrs May told her ministers: “The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is the vehicle which gets the UK out of the EU and it is vital to find a way to get it over the line.”

No 10 said the bill, when it was published, would contain “some significant new aspects”.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart suggested on Sunday that the government and Labour were “half an inch apart” on key issues and “sensible” Labour MPs could be won round.

But shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said she believed her colleagues would vote against the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as she had heard there was “no radical difference” in what was being offered.

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell