Ahead of this week’s debates on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, Theresa May said that the meaningful vote will go ahead as planned during the week of the 14th January. When asked what is different now than during the debates in December when the vote was originally meant to take place, May said she has once again been speaking with European leaders and will also be setting out assurances and measures in three areas.
- Specific measures for Northern Ireland
- Greater role for Parliament in the next stage of the negotiations
- Government is continuing to work on further assurances from the European Union
If the deal does not pass, we will be in “uncharted territory” and that “it is for those who oppose the deal to actually say what the alternative is and so far nobody has put forth an alternative that deals with all the issues” .
In a swipe at those in the Commons who are lacking in pragmatism and putting personal politics before the national interest, May said “what we have in the House of Commons is a Labour leadership and party playing politics and opposing any deal in order to cause the greatest chaos that they can. We’ve got people who are promoting a second referendum, in order to stop Brexit and we have people who want to see their ‘perfect’ Brexit“. She went on to warn MPs about “making the search for the perfect, the enemy of the good“.
She once again firmly denounced calls for a second referendum, saying that “it would divide our country” and that on a practical level, there is simply not time for there to be another referendum, and it would require an extension to Article50. 2019 will mark three years on from the EU referendum, and May said “I think we should be leaving” and it would be disrespectful not to.
Speaking about the NHS Ten Year Plan – which gives the biggest cash boost to the NHS in its history – the Prime Minister says it “enables us to stand back and say “how can we ensure the NHS continues to be one of the best health services in the world?” And that’s what we’ll be announcing tomorrow“.
On Universal Credit, the Prime Minister said it will still meet its targeted full rollover by 2023, and that it was important that the Government takes their time to get it right. May said that “the legacy system that we inherited from the Labour party had almost 1.4 million people left on benefits for almost a decade – now that is not good for them, not good for their families and not good for us as a country“. Universal Credit is a system which encourages people into work, ensures work pays and gives people the ability to support their families.