May: Labour would be betraying the country by voting down Brexit deal

PUBLISHED: 13:39 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:45 30 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May visits the Scottish Leather Group Limited, in Bridge of Weir, Scotland. Photograph: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne.

Prime Minister Theresa May visits the Scottish Leather Group Limited, in Bridge of Weir, Scotland. Photograph: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne.

PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May says that Labour voting down her Brexit plan would be a “betrayal of the British people”.

This is despite the fact that opposition parties and even 100 of her own MPs are considering voting it down.

In a round of broadcast interviews in Argentina, where she is attending the G20 summit, May declined to discuss whether she might offer a Plan B if her deal is voted down on December 11, or whether defeat could mean her resigning or being forced out.

“It’s not about me,” said May. “This is about what is in the national interest.

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“It’s about delivering the vote to leave the EU and doing it in a way that protects people’s jobs and livelihoods and protects our security and our United Kingdom.”

Speaking at the G20 in Buenos Aires, European Council president Donald Tusk warned that May’s Withdrawal Agreement is “the only possible one” and voting it down will either lead to a no-deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.

He told reporters: “The European Union has just agreed an orderly divorce with the United Kingdom.

“A few days before the vote in the House of Commons it is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible - in fact the only possible one.

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“If this deal is rejected in the Commons we are left with, as was already stressed a few weeks ago by Prime Minister May, an alternative: no deal or no Brexit at all.”

Asked whether she was putting pressure on Tory MPs to fall in behind her plan, May said: “Obviously we’re talking to colleagues about this vote. I think we should remember that we gave the vote to the British people as to whether or not to leave the EU. People voted for Brexit and I think it’s up to us to deliver Brexit.

“The message I get from members of the public is that they want the Government to do that, they want us to deliver Brexit and we want to do it in a way that protects people’s jobs. I think it’s that interest in constituents that MPs need to have in their minds too when they come to vote.”

Turning her fire on Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who she has offered to debate with on TV ahead of the crunch Commons vote, May said: “I’ve got a plan, I’ve got a proposal, I’ve got the deal that I’ve negotiated.

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“We don’t see any alternative coming forward from the Labour Party. I think people need to be aware of that.

“Instead, what I see from Labour is an attempt to frustrate what the Government is doing to deliver Brexit for the British people. That is actually a betrayal of the British people.”

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