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May blames MPs for Brexit delay in attempt to sway public

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 21 Mar 2019

May blames MPs for Brexit delay in attempt to sway public

(Sharecast News) - UK Prime Minister Theresa May infuriated MPs when she blamed them for the delay to Brexit in a blatant and risky attempt to turn public opinion against parliament.
On the day that she formally requested a three month delay to Britain's departure from the European Union, May made an extraordinary televised statement from Downing Street saying it was "high time" MPs backed her deal - despite two previous humiliating defeats in the House of Commons.

With eight days to go before Britain is due to leave the EU, May took a calculated gamble to point the finger at MPs, accusing them of "political games" and frustrating her desire to deliver Brexit.

In addition to the two major parliamentary defeats, May also had her hand forced by parliament ruling out a no-deal exit scenario, meaning she would have to go cap in hand to the EU and ask for more time. However, she was not prepared to face that meeting without absolving herself of any blame beforehand.

"Of this I am absolutely sure. You, the public, have had enough. You are tired of the infighting, tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children's schools, our National Health Service, knife crime," she said.

"You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side."

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, who was said to be supportive of May's deal, slammed the prime minister's remarks as "disgraceful".

"Pitting Parliament against the people in the current environment is dangerous and reckless. Yesterday her government attacked their civil servants. Now she's attacking the MPs whose votes she needs. It will have cost her support," she said.

May was on Thursday set to travel to Brussels for an EU leaders summit. EU Council President Donald Tusk said he would consider approving a delay, but only if a deal was voted through by MPs.

This meant that May would now be in a race against time to win approval for her deal, and then hold a vote in both houses of parliament to change the 29 March exit date set in the EU Withdrawal Act.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow derailed the government's plans to schedule a third vote on May's plan Monday when he used an ancient parliamentary rule to stop it returning to the chamber unchanged, after rejections by 230 votes in January, and 149 last week.

Earlier in the day Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for her to form a cross-party consensus. He was invited invited to a meeting on Wednesday at Downing Street only to flounce out when he discovered former labour MP Chuka Umunna of the breakaway Independent Group in the room.

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