Theresa May warns critics of her Brexit deal they risk damaging the economy and democracy
Theresa May has warned critics of her Brexit deal that they risk damaging democracy and the economy by opposing her.
The prime minister said the UK faced a moment of profound challenge as she urged MPs to support her withdrawal agreement.
May said as no alternative plan was available to respect the 2016 referendum result, protect jobs and provide certainty to citizens and businesses as MPs prepare to return to Westminster ahead of a vote on her withdrawal agreement.
Addressing opponents on both the Remain and Brexiteer wings of the Commons, she said: There are some in parliament who, despite voting in favour of holding the referendum, voting in favour of triggering Article 50 and standing on manifestos committed to delivering Brexit, now want to stop us leaving by holding another referendum.
Others across the House of Commons are so focused on their particular vision of Brexit that they risk making a perfect ideal the enemy of a good deal.
Both groups are motivated by what they think is best for the country, but both must realise the risks they are running with our democracy and the livelihoods of our constituents.
The prime minister said that the British genius for pragmatism had always found a way forward which commands consensus at moments of profound challenge such as this.
In a Mail on Sunday article she said Labours approach under Jeremy Corbyn had been based on a cynical tissue of incoherence, designed to avoid difficult decisions.
She was forced to postpone a vote on her plans in December after it became clear the deal would be rejected by MPs.
With Tory rebels and her DUP allies expected to oppose it, the prime minister hopes to win round some Labour MPs alarmed at the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
May said: MPs of every party will face the same question when the division bell rings.
It is a question of profound significance for our democracy and for our constituents.
The only way to both honour the result of the referendum and protect jobs and security is by backing the deal that is on the table.
But former Cabinet minister Sir John Redwood said a no-deal Brexit will work just fine despite the idiotic warnings about potential shortages of food and medicines.
On the other side of the Tory divide, pro-EU veteran Ken Clarke said Mays deal – which he would be prepared to support – is dying, and he would be amazed if the mood of MPs had changed over the Christmas break.
Instead, he called for Brexit to be postponed until a way forward can be found.
MPs will resume debate on the Brexit deal on Wednesday ahead of a vote the following week.