Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Theresa May’s ‘new deal’ offer on Brexit .
The Labour leader accused the Prime Minister of “rehashing” proposals the Government made during the cross-party talks.
But he did not mention the offer of a second referendum vote in a statement issued after her speech.
He said: “The Prime Minister’s proposal tonight seems to be largely a rehash of the government’s position in the cross party talks that failed to reach a compromise last week.
“On key elements – customs, market alignment and environmental protections – what the Prime Minister calls her new Brexit deal is effectively a repackaging of the same old bad deal, rejected three times by parliament.
“We will of course look seriously at the details of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill when it is published. But we won’t back a repackaged version of the same old deal – and it’s clear that this weak and disintegrating government is unable deliver on its own commitments.”
In a humiliating final gamble, the PM pledged a legally-binding vote will be included in her Withdrawal Agreement Bill when it comes to the Commons, starting in the week of June 3.
That means if MPs vote for a second referendum the government will be FORCED to legislate for it.
Potentially that will allow the public to have the final choice between the existing Brexit deal and remaining in the EU.
But there’s a catch – it will only be held if MPs pass the Bill, which contains the Brexit deal.
And within minutes of the speech both a string of Eurosceptic Tories and the SNP confirmed they would not back the PM’s vote.
If they reject it, Theresa May is likely to quit within weeks – and the Tories will spiral into a hard-right leadership contest.
Independent MP Nick Boles tweeted: “If Theresa May had delivered this speech two years ago, we’d be out of the EU already. And Nigel Farage would be playing golf in Florida…”
Mr Boles resigned from the Conservative Party in March after clashing with local party members over his position on Brexit.
Tory Eurosceptic Andrea Jenkyns was less impressed, tweeting: “!!!!!!! How to Not deliver Brexit! Farcical.”
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The PM is asking MPs to vote for a Bill that takes us out of the EU – in Scotland’s case against our will – out of the single market and possibly out of the Customs Union. And with no actual commitment to putting the deal to a second referendum. theSNP will not do that.
She continued: “In PM’s own words, ‘if MPs vote against the Bill, they will be voting to stop Brexit.’
“That is what The SNP will do because Scotland did not vote for Brexit. #StopBrexit.”
Conservative MP and Brexiteer Charlie Elphicke slammed the deal as a “dog’s breakfast” that he could not support, despite voting for Mrs May’s deal last time.
He said: “This is even more of a dog’s breakfast than the last deal, it is not Brexit and I won’t be supporting it.
“The backstop customs union is still at the heart of the deal, preventing us from agreeing trade deals with the fasting growing economies in the world.
“I supported the Prime Minister in March as I thought it was our last chance to leave the EU.
“That’s no longer the case and I’m afraid that this proposal will reinforce the public’s view that the establishment is hell-bent on thwarting the referendum result.”
Top Brexiteer Tory MP Steve Baker said: “The Prime Minister made a speech riddled with inconsistencies as she pledged to muddle the legislation implementing this failed deal by adding more opportunities for uncertainty.
“Our Party stands on the brink. I know the Prime Minister will not want to lead us over it.
“It’s time we we were led away from the precipice and towards the only path of safety for this country. And towards the only place which a country which voted to leave the EU should end up.
“Our next leader needs to take us out of the EU, and the sooner they start that work, the better it will be.”