MEP pours scorn on last-ditch Brexit scramble

Written by Martin Banks on 5 December 2018 in News
News

A senior Greens MEP has disparaged eleventh-hour attempts to persuade MPs to back Theresa May’s controversial Brexit deal.

Photo credit: Pixabay


Molly Scott Cato says the appeal for UK voters to pressure their local MPs into supporting Theresa May's Brexit agreement amounts to a scare campaign.

“This [appeal] presents No Deal as a realistic option to frighten opponents into supporting May’s rotten deal. But it is clear this bogeyman will be ruled out by MPs at the earliest stages of the parliamentary debate.”

Her comments come amidst five days of debate on the deal in the House of Commons.


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Ahead of the debate, the Daily Mail, a right-leaning and Brexit-supporting national UK newspaper, published an open letter which readers are asked to sign and send to their local MP. It calls for MPs to support the deal brokered by May in a House of Commons vote on 11 December.

A list of MPs who are said to be against the deal has also been published.

Scott Cato said, “If the Daily Mail is so confident that Theresa May’s deal is best for the country, why are they so afraid to let the people have a say on it? They should back a People’s Vote which will allow us all to choose between the deal on the table and remaining in the EU.”

“The row is likely to overshadow the five-day debate, which May intends to lead in her increasingly fraught attempt to get her Brexit deal endorsed by parliament.”

SCOTS LEADING THE CHARGE AGAINST BREXIT

Meanwhile, in a new development, the European Court of Justice's Advocate General has said the UK should be able to unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU.

A cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians has been seeking a ruling through the courts, led by Greens MSP Andy Wightman.

"If the Daily Mail is so confident that Theresa May’s deal is best for the country, why are they so afraid to let the people have a say on it? They should back a People’s Vote which will allow us all to choose between the deal on the table and remaining in the EU" Molly Scott Cato MEP

Speaking on Tuesday, Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP for Scotland and a member of the cross-party group involved in the legal process, said: "This is a landmark opinion from the Advocate General. He has made clear that the UK can stop the ticking clock of Brexit before it is too late.”

"If judges accept his opinion, the UK will have the option of halting the process and will be able to offer the chance to keep the best deal we have as a member of the EU through a People's Vote - rather than choosing between Theresa May's bad deal or a catastrophic no-deal scenario.”

"I pay tribute to Andy Wightman for leading on this important issue, which the UK Government had tried to stymie at every turn. There is now light at the end of the tunnel," Stihler added.

Elsewhere, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has again warned the UK it will not get a better Brexit deal than the one being voted on by the Commons on 11 December.

He said, "Last week the EU and the UK struck a deal that will allow to start disentangling ties that have grown over more than 40 years. This is the best deal possible, in fact: it is the only deal available.

"I pay tribute to Andy Wightman for leading on this important issue, which the UK Government had tried to stymie at every turn. There is now light at the end of the tunnel," Catherine Stihler MEP

He was speaking at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

European Council President Donald Tusk also spoke about Brexit, saying many leaders at the G20 meeting had raised questions about the issue.

He said, “Let me say this. 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. 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.”

“I want to reassure you that the EU is prepared for every scenario,” he added.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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