International

MPs to vote on withdrawal bill in early June

Theresa May is giving MPs another chance to vote on Brexit in early June – whether or not the government and Labour have reached a deal by then.

A vote on the bill that would pave the way for Brexit was “imperative” if the UK was to leave the EU before MPs’ summer recess, Downing Street said.

Labour sources say they will not back the bill without a cross-party deal.

If May’s deal is defeated, Number 10 said the UK is set for no deal or for Article 50 to be revoked.

That is because the EU will not grant a further extension beyond 31 October, says BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith.

Attempts to find a cross-party compromise began after the PM’s Brexit deal was previously rejected three times by MPs.

But government sources have told the BBC that there would not be a fifth attempt if May’s deal is voted down for a fourth time.

The prime minister and Corbyn met on Tuesday evening to discuss the ongoing talks.

Number 10 described the discussions as “both useful and constructive”.

A spokesman said Theresa May had made clear the government’s “determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU”.

A Labour party spokesman said Corbyn had “raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers seeking to replace the prime minister”.

He also said the Labour leader had called for “further movement” from the government and that the prime minister’s team had agreed to bring back “further proposals tomorrow”.

Bringing the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill forward would allow the prime minister to push ahead with her ambition of delivering Brexit before the summer – despite the lack of an agreement so far in the cross-party talks, said BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

He added that the proposed timetable nevertheless would allow “more space and more time” for the talks to continue. (BBC)