‘Why don’t you just get on with it?’: May’s OWN Tory backbenchers demand to know why Brexit has not yet happened yet in a fiery grilling from MPs
- She clashed with hardcore Brexiteers Sir Bill Cash and Sir Bernard Jenkin today
- They demanded to know why Brexit had been delayed until October 31
- They also wanted to know why she was not seeking a No Deal Brexit
- She said had MPs like them backed her deal the UK would be out the EU already
Theresa May was berated today by her own Tory backbenchers who are furious that Brexit has not yet happened.
In testy clashes during a grilling from senior MPs the Prime Minister defended her handling of Brexit in the face of criticism from hardcore Brexiteers Sir Bill Cash and Sir Bernard Jenkin.
They both demanded to know why the UK had not left on March 29 as planned and why she was not pursuing a No Deal Brexit that would see us leave the EU as soon as possible.
Mrs May repeated her desire to see the UK leave the EU with a deal, complaining that had MPs like them backed her Withdrawal Agreement (WA) the UK could have left on time.
Sir Bill, who recently called for Mrs May to quit, said: ‘You have just said ”I want to leave the EU”, Prime Minister.
‘Well why don’t you get on with it and bring in the commencement order for a start?That wouldn’t be a bad way to begin.
Mrs May was being questioned by the Commons’ Liaison Committee of senior backbenchers about her Brexit strategy
She clashed with Sir Bill Cash, a hardcore and long-term Brexiteer who previously called for her to resign
‘Why do you repeatedly – and again today – say that what you are doing in the Withdrawal Agreement is in our national interest when it obviously is not?’
As exasperated PM replied: ‘I’ve been trying to get on with it. I have voted three times now for the Withdrawal Agreement that would enable us to ratify that so that we can lave the European Union.
‘Had the first meaningful vote gone through, we could have got the legislation through and be out already. ‘
Mrs May was being questioned by MPs on the Liaison Committee, which is made up of 35 chairmen and women of the Commons’ select committees.
She said she wanted to get her Brexit deal through the Commons soon, stating: ‘I’m reluctant to put an actual date on it, except to say that I want to do this as soon as possible.’
The PM signalled that if talks with Labour could not find a ‘landing zone’, the Commons would vote on Brexit options, saying: ‘As we haven’t yet determined whether or not there is a landing zone that is going to be possible, and if there were not, of course, we would go to the votes from the House of Commons… and we would need to await the outcome of those votes.’
Sir Bernard asked the PM if the Commons declined to approve a deal and declined to approve Britain leaving without a deal, whether her choice would be to remain in the EU ‘indefinitely’
Mrs May said that the Government had been making ‘concerted efforts’ to find consensus behind a Brexit deal and that she and Jeremy Corbyn were ‘trying to achieve something very similar’ on Brexit customs arrangements.
She said it was ‘right’ to enter unprecedented cross-party talks with Labour, adding: ‘I’m convinced it was the right thing to do because the public want to see us working together to deliver on the result of the referendum.
‘We’ve been having constructive, meaningful talks which are continuing.
‘There are differences on issues but on many of the key areas – particularly on the Withdrawal Agreement – there is common ground.’
She was pressed by Sir Bernard, who said that if the Commons declined to approve a deal and declined to approve Britain leaving without a deal, her choice would be to remain in the EU ‘indefinitely’.
She replied: ‘No, I do not believe we should be remaining in the European Union indefinitely. We will only stay in if Article 50 is revoked.’
Conservative MP Sir Patrick McLoughlin asked if it was now ‘impossible for us to leave without a deal’.
Mrs May responded: ‘What I think is that Parliament will act to insist the UK Government is not willing to leave without a deal.
‘Actually leaving without a deal is not entirely in the hands of the UK Government because the issue of the extensions to Article 50 rests with the whole of the EU sitting around that table…
‘As it happens the view the Parliament has expressed in that it wants to leave with a deal is the same view the Government has in terms of our policy.
‘We believe that leaving with a deal – this deal – is the best route for the UK.’