Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

No Second Vote in Pm's Secret Plot to Stitch Up Brexit; LABOUR ENDS TALKS AS MAY AIMS FOR JULY 31 EXIT Free Votes in Commons to Rank 5 Brexit Options All Previously Rejected by MPs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

No Second Vote in Pm's Secret Plot to Stitch Up Brexit; LABOUR ENDS TALKS AS MAY AIMS FOR JULY 31 EXIT Free Votes in Commons to Rank 5 Brexit Options All Previously Rejected by MPs

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor EXCLUSIVE

A BOMBSHELL leaked document today revealed Theresa May's plan to block a second referendum and stage "preferential votes" in the Commons, designed to allow Britain to leave the EU on July 31. The memo, shown to the Evening Standard, was sent to Labour on Wednesday, a day after the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn met for private talks.

The revelation came as a surprise on the day Mr Corbyn pulled the plug on cross-party talks, saying that they had "gone as far as they can". The plan involves: . Free votes for MPs in which they would rank in order of Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 ??preference five different forms of customs arrangements with the EU, ranging from a full permanent trade pact to a looser or temporary arrangement. The aim is to force the Commons, which has rejected every option shown so far, into a decision.

. A free vote on making any deal subject to a second referendum, which appears designed to block the campaign backed by 150 Labour MPs for a confirmatory ballot attached to any deal.

. Whipped votes on other areas where the two sides appear to have reached agreement, including to keep European worker rights and green standards.

The document infuriated Remainer Labour MPs, saying it appeared that the leaders had discussed the plans.

Labour's Alex Sobel called on Mr Corbyn to disown the plan and to back a second referendum. "This is the battle plan for a desperate Prime Minister to freeze the people out over the biggest decision facing the country in two generations," the MP said.

A Whitehall source told the Standard that the document appeared to show areas where the two sides had reached agreement in the talks, which have lasted for 42 days.

It lists agreement to leave with a deal rather than on no-deal terms; to leave on July 31; to have as close as possible, frictionless trade; to end free movement; to seek the fullest participation in EU agencies covering medicines and other critical areas. …

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