May offers ‘last chance’ Brexit deal
THERESA May has caved in to Labour's Brexit demands as she made a last-ditch bid to save her Brexit deal and protect her legacy.
The Sun reports that the desperate PM even offered MPs the right to vote on holding a second EU referendum in a desperate gambit to avoid a fourth humiliating defeat next month.
She promised stronger workers' rights, protections for the environment and a Commons veto over trade talks to try and win cross-party backing for her "new Brexit deal".
And in a deeply personal appeal, Mrs May said: "I have tried everything I possibly can to find a way through - I offered to give up the job I love."
But rebel Brexiteers responded with fury and pledged to vote down the deal when it returns to parliament in two weeks' time.
The PM admitted this evening that she is unable to get the deal approved with the support only of Tory MPs - and reached out to Labour to try and push it through the Commons instead.
Despite the collapse of talks with Jeremy Corbyn, she still believes she can win over enough Labour backbenchers to save the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
Mrs May insisted that she wants Britain to quit the customs union but revealed she will give MPs the chance to stay in it if they prefer - and also let them vote on whether or not to hold a second referendum which could overturn Brexit altogether.
She said: "To those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal - you need a deal and therefore a Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it happen."
But the PM also issued new assurances designed to stop Britain getting trapped in the hated Irish backstop, in an attempt to win back Brexiteer rebels from her own party.
She warned: "If MPs vote against the second reading of this bill, they are voting to stop Brexit."
The so-called "alternative arrangements" to keep the Irish border open without resorting to the backstop would need to be approved by Brussels, raising the prospect of another diplomatic showdown.
Mrs May admitted: "I knew that delivering Brexit was not going to be simple or straightforward. The result in 2016 was decisive, but it was close.
"The challenge of taking Brexit from the simplicity of the choice on the ballot paper to the complexity of resetting the country's relationship with 27 of its nearest neighbours was always going to be huge.
"While it has proved even harder than I anticipated, I continue to believe that the best way to make a success of Brexit is to negotiate a good exit deal with the EU as the basis of a new deep and special partnership for the future."
The PM said the Brexit deadlock was risking "a nightmare future of permanently polarised politics" with Britain deeply divided over leaving the EU.
And she concluded: "By passing a deal we can actually get Brexit done - and move our country forwards. If we can do so, I passionately believe that we can seize the opportunities that I know lie ahead.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission