May: UK is more likely to stay in EU than crash out

PUBLISHED: 07:41 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 14 January 2019

Prime minister Theresa May. Picture: Nick Butcher

Prime minister Theresa May. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Parliament is more likely to support staying in the EU than allowing the UK to crash out without a deal, Theresa May is set to say.

The prime minister will use a speech on the eve of the critical House of Commons vote to urge MPs to consider the “consequences” of their actions on the faith of British people in democracy.

She will reiterate her claim that “catastrophic harm” will be inflicted to trust in politicians if they fail to implement the result of the referendum.

May will say, based on last week’s Westminster drama, that she now believes MPs blocking Brexit is a more likely outcome than leaving without a deal.

The prime minister is expected to tell factory workers in Leave-voting Stoke-on-Trent: “I ask MPs to consider the consequences of their actions on the faith of the British people in our democracy.

“Imagine if an anti-devolution House of Commons had said to the people of Scotland or Wales that despite voting in favour of a devolved legislature, Parliament knew better and would overrule them. Or else force them to vote again.

“What if we found ourselves in a situation where Parliament tried to take the UK out of the EU in opposition to a remain vote?

“People’s faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm.

“We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum.”

Amid speculation the EU could publish fresh assurances on the controversial Irish backstop, the Guardian has reported that Brussels is preparing to delay Brexit until July - a claim disputed by a Commission source.

Commenting on her draft speech, Best for Britain champion Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “If the prime minister thinks she can make an eleventh hour attempt to scare us into voting for her dead as a dodo deal she is wrong.

“MPs must stand up for those who were left voiceless and disenfranchised in 2016 - not by voting through a deal that will further divide and impoverish communities across the UK, but by voting it down. We need to stand up for democracy, for workers’ rights, and for jobs, by giving the public back a voice over Brexit with a final say.”

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