The opposition Labour Party on Monday accused Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May of attempting to “bribe” lawmakers into supporting her Brexit deal, after she promised extra funds for economically deprived areas of England.
May announced a 1.6-billion-pound (2.1 billion dollars) “stronger towns fund” for parts of northern and central England less than four weeks before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29.
Most of the initial one billion pounds will go to communities in the English north and Midlands, where many Labour-held parliamentary constituencies returned a majority for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
Labour said the initiative “smacks of desperation from a government reduced to bribing MPs to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation.”
May said economic prosperity in Britain had been “unfairly spread’’ for too long.
“Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change, that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control,’’ she said.
May has sought support among lawmakers from the biggest opposition party since she suffered a crushing defeat in a vote on her Brexit deal in mid-January.
She plans to hold a second vote on the deal coming week after promising to seek changes to a controversial “backstop’’ arrangement to guarantee and open Irish border after Brexit.
“The reason our towns are struggling is because of a decade of cuts, including to council funding and a failure to invest in businesses and our communities,’’ John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor said.
According to him, no Brexit bribery stable investment where it is most needed. (dpa/NAN)