UK’s Hammond says not there yet on Brexit vote support


Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond walks outside Downing Street ahead of a Brexit vote in London, Britain March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – 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.

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.

“What has happened since last Tuesday is that a significant number of colleagues, including some very prominent ones who have gone public, have changed their view on this and decided that the alternatives are so unpalatable to them that they on reflection think the prime minister’s deal is the best way to deliver Brexit,” he told BBC’s Andrew Marr program.

Asked if the government had enough numbers yet, he replied: “Not yet, it is a work in progress.”

British lawmakers rejected May’s deal by 149 votes on March 12.

Reporting by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper

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