Tory Minister hints PM will gamble UK's future in all-or-nothing vote just 8 DAYS before Brexit date

The Conservative Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, has strongly hinted that Theresa May is planning to gamble Britain’s future away by withholding the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal until just 8 days before the UK’s scheduled departure date from the EU, essentially forcing MPs into all-or-nothing binary choice between her deal or no deal.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Leadsom admitted that the second meaningful vote on Theresa May’s crucial Brexit withdrawal bill may not happen until after the next major EU summit on March 21st, just 8 days before Brexit.

When asked if the government was planning to withhold the vote until the last week before Brexit, Leadsom claimed that she could not “predict the future“, stating:

“The Prime Minister is seeking to bring back the meaningful vote just as soon as possible.

So it is a negotiation. It’s not possible to predict the future but the meaningful vote will come back to parliament as soon as the issue around the backstop has been sorted out.”

Leadsom also denied that such a move was simply an underhand tactic to ‘run down the clock’ in order to force MPs into a binary choice between the PM’s deal or No Deal.

The UK is set to leave the EU in just 6 weeks on March 29th, and Leadsom’s refusal to deny the plan will only serve to inflame suspicions that the government is planning to blame MPs for a No Deal Brexit, should they again vote against Theresa May’s deal just days before the UK’s departure.

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With a No Deal Brexit now looking like a distinct possibility, uncertainty and anxiety amongst businesses who rely on trade with the EU will surely only intensify.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been warning for weeks of his suspicion that, following her catastrophic defeat in January, Theresa May would simply attempt to run down the Brexit clock in order to blame MPs for a No Deal Brexit if they voted against her deal.

In addition to the chaos surrounding the meaningful vote, the government also still needs to pass a whopping 459 laws – so-called ‘statutory instruments’ – through Parliament before the UK will be ready to leave the EU.

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