May delays Brexit deal vote, will seek assurances from EU

Protesters for and against Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a parliamentary vote on Brexit.
Protesters for and against Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a parliamentary vote on Brexit.PHOTO: REUTERS

British Prime Minister Theresa May halted a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal with the European Union yesterday, saying she would do all she could to secure further assurances from the bloc on the so-called backstop arrangement in the Brexit deal.

Mrs May told lawmakers that if they wanted an alternative arrangement with the EU, they must be honest about the downsides of the other options - a second referendum, continued single-market membership and a no-deal Brexit.

"Does this House want to deliver Brexit?" Mrs May said. "If the House does, does it want to do so through reaching an agreement with the EU? If the answer is yes - and I believe that is the answer of the majority of this House - then we all have to ask ourselves whether we are prepared to make a compromise."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'May delays Brexit deal vote, will seek assurances from EU'. Print Edition | Subscribe