The Catch-up: Theresa May's new Brexit plan sparks outrage among... everyone

What happened?

Theresa May made a final attempt to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal in a speech this afternoon. She said Parliament has ‘one last chance’ to deliver a smooth exit from the EU, offering MPs the chance to vote on whether to hold a second Brexit referendum - but only on the condition they vote for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in two weeks’ time. Mrs May tried to woo Brexiteers, Remainers and Labour all at the same time with a list of promises aimed at getting her deal over the line.

Doomed to fail

Even before Mrs May had finished speaking, one Tory Brexiteer warned he would not be backing the WAB. Simon Clarke said: "I supported the PM at MV3, to try to get us out on 29 March. But this speech from the PM means there is no way I will support the Withdrawal Agreement Bill." His blow was the first in a flurry from Brexiteers clamouring to criticise the speech. Eurosceptic MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: “!!!!!!! How to Not deliver Brexit! Farcical.” Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith MP said there was nothing new in Mrs May’s latest deal, confirming he would not vote in favour.

The promise of a second referendum also failed to win support. Former Conservative MP Anna Soubry, now with Change UK, tweeted: “Even if Bill passes #BrexitNightmare does NOT end because May’s Withdrawal Agreement does NOT settle our final relationship with the EU so the polarised debate continues AND we all know @Conservatives are determined to remove May asap (to) elect a “No Deal” Leader.” Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted: “Lots of us have been very clear that the PM’s deal can pass on the condition that the people get to decide through a referendum. That’s not what the PM is promising I’m afraid."

Theresa May has lost three votes on her Brexit deal, the first by a historic margin. She has agreed to set out a definitive timetable for her departure even if she loses the WAB during the vote in the first week of June.

Read more:

Theresa May offers MPs a vote on a second referendum (HuffPost)

Tory MP accused of talking 'absolute balls' (The Independent)

‘Clean Brexit sounds simple. Trouble is, it doesn’t exist’ (The Guardian)

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