Justine Greening calls for second vote to kill off PM's Brexit deal before Christmas

JUSTINE Greening today calls for MPs to be given the chance to vote down Theresa May's flawed Brexit deal next week so they can start preparing for a second referendum.

The former Education Secretary makes the call in The Yorkshire Post today just 72 hours after giving her backing to the Prime Minister in Wednesday’s confidence vote.

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She wants the proposed Withdrawal Agreement effectively taken off the agenda so Parliament can seek a plan B with just over 100 days to go until the country leaves the European Union.

“The Prime Minister must have the courage of her convictions and bring her deal for Parliament to vote on before Christmas, not after,” writes the Rotherham-born MP. “More delay for another month will just cause more business uncertainty and waste more precious time Britain doesn’t have.”

Even though a vote has been ruled out next week on the Withdrawal Agreement before the Christmas recess begins on Thursday, Mrs May will make a statement to Commons on Monday on the outcome latest EU summit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would wait for the update before deciding whether to table a vote of no confidence in the Government.

However, while the Tory leader remains committed to her deal, Ms Greening, a prominent Remain supporter, says it will compromise Yorkshire manufacturing.

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If a future goverment “wants to take steps to support British business such as our steel industry”, she says that “the EU gets to be the judge and jury as to whether it thinks the steps we take are anti-competitive under EU state aid rules”.

Ms Greening wants MPs to accept that “simply delaying things to hope that something else turns up becomes more irresponsible by the day”.

Reiterating her previous calls for another referendum, she adds: “It’ll be faster in the end and we’ll get a result. It’s the only way we can finally get on to what people actually want fixing – education and more opportunities, health, social care, all the rest of our lives.

“That’s what I’m doing – being honest about where we’re at. It’s not responsible to kick the can down the road, and I also don’t think it’s responsible to just ignore the reality of gridlocked Parliament. By asking voters, we can have a route that at least gets us through to a Brexit conclusion.”

Opinion: Page 15.