British MPs will get another chance to vote on whether to hold a second Brexit referendum, as Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to pass her divorce deal.
Prime Minister Theresa May has appealed to MPs to get behind her "new deal" for Britain's departure from the EU, offering sweeteners to opposition parties in her fourth attempt to break an impasse in parliament over Brexit.
Ms May offered MPs the prospect of a possible second referendum on Brexit and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives to back her withdrawal agreement in a speech at the headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday.
"I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise," she said.
"We have been given a clear instruction by the people we are supposed to represent, so help me find a way to honour that instruction, move our country and our politics and build the better future that all of us want to see."
Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months after the planned departure date, Ms May is mounting a last bid to try to get the deeply divided parliament's backing for a divorce deal and leave office with some kind of legacy.
Despite offering what she described as "significant further changes", many MPs, hardened in their positions, have already decided to vote next month against the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, legislation which implements the terms of Britain's departure.
By offering the possibility of holding a second vote on whether to hold another Brexit referendum and a compromise on customs arrangements, Ms May hopes to win over opposition Labour MPs, whose votes she needs to overcome resistance in her own Conservative Party.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party could not vote for the Withdrawal Bill, describing Ms May's new offer as "largely a rehash of the government's position" in talks with the opposition which broke down last week.
Ms May has also infuriated Brexit-supporting MPs, who have described a customs union with the EU as no Brexit at all.
Several leading Conservative eurosceptics such as former Brexit minister David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg said they would not vote for the bill in early June.
And Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up Ms May's government, said the "fatal flaws" of her original deal remained. They fear the divorce deal could see Northern Ireland split from the rest of the United Kingdom.
The last-ditch attempt to get Labour MPs, if not their leader, on board, some say, is simply too little, too late.
"It's a gimmick from a desperate PM who has run out of road, refuses to compromise and for three years has sidelined parliament and the country," Labour MP Seema Malhotra told Reuters.
Brexit-supporting Conservatives were equally unconvinced.
Conservative MP David Jones described the speech as "unacceptable" and predicted that the move just before Thursday's elections to the European Parliament would only buoy support for veteran eurosceptic Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.
"I believe more Conservatives will vote against it," he told Reuters. "Regrettably, it will probably also boost the Brexit Party vote on Thursday."