LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 17, 2019) (BBC) – The British government does not yet have the support of enough lawmakers to win a parliamentary vote on its Brexit deal but a “significant number” of colleagues are coming around to back the plan, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday (March 17).
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to bring her deal back to parliament for a third vote this week, but Hammond said it would only go ahead if the government thought it could win.
Asked if the government had enough numbers yet, he replied: “Not yet, it is a work in progress.”
May needs 75 lawmakers to change their vote after it was crushed first in January by 230 lawmakers and then by 149 on March 12.
After parliament backed a move to delay Brexit, May still has only three days to win approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to go to a summit with the bloc’s leaders on Thursday (March 21) with something to offer them in return for more time.
Almost three years since Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum, the country is no clearer about how and when it will leave the bloc, with several outcomes possible, from exiting without a deal to Brexit never happening at all.
May’s warning that if parliament again votes against her deal — which has already been crushed twice by lawmakers — that Britain could face a long delay and would need to take part in European elections in May seemed to be winning some over.