May: parliament can vote on new Brexit referendum

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(21 May 2019) In a major concession, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday offered lawmakers the chance to vote on whether to hold a new referendum on the country's membership in the European Union - but only if it backs her thrice-rejected Brexit agreement.
May made the offer as part of attempts to persuade Parliament to back a divorce agreement that will allow the U.K. to leave the EU in an orderly fashion.
She plans to ask the House of Commons to vote in early June on a withdrawal agreement bill, in what she called a "last chance" to seal a Brexit deal.
In a speech Tuesday, May said the bill would include "a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum and this must take place before the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified."
"I do not believe that this is a route that we should take … but I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling" on the issue, she said.
But the referendum will only happen if Parliament backs the bill and it becomes law, something that still seems unlikely.
Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29, but the bloc extended the deadline until Oct. 31 amid the political impasse.
Talks on securing a compromise between May's Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party broke down last week.
May says she will try again the week of June 3 by asking lawmakers to vote on a withdrawal agreement bill implementing the departure terms.
She has tried to secure backing from lawmakers with promises to maintain high standards on as workers' rights and environmental protections _ issues that are priorities for the left-of-center Labour Party.
She also said lawmakers would get to decide how close a trade relationship to seek with the EU after Brexit, in a concession to Labour's demands for a customs union.

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