Theresa May battled a croaky voice as she made a desperate plea with MPs to back her Brexit deal in her final speech before tonight’s crunch vote in the Commons.
The Prime Minister’s voice cracked as she gave a stark warning that “Brexit could be lost” if MPs reject her Withdrawal Agreement once again on Tuesday night.
Stepping up to the dispatch box after her visit to Strasbourg, Mrs May admitted she had lost her voice before saying that MPs “should hear Jean-Claude Juncker’s voice”.
As Labour MPs joked she could not make her speech, the PM quipped: “Okay, you may say that, but you should hear Jean-Claude Juncker’s voice as a result of our conversation.”
Mrs May’s vocal struggles returned after her speech to the Conservative Party conference in 2017 was infamously overshadowed by her inability to speak.
Many were largely sympathetic to Mrs May’s lost voice on Tuesday, with Sir Bill Cash saying: “I do feel for my right honourable friend with the throat condition she has at the moment, I really do.”
Although he felt for the Prime Minister’s cracking voice, he added: “In light of our own legal analysis and others, we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today.”
Tory MP James Cartlidge added: “She may have slightly lost her voice, but is it not true that were we to have a second referendum, 17 and a half million people would have lost their voice?”
“I entirely agree with him,” Mrs May told the Commons. “I believe it is absolutely imperative for this House that we meet the decision that was taken by the British people in June 2016, that we deliver on that referendum and that we deliver Brexit for the British people.
“As I say, there is a danger that a failure to agree a deal that we could end up in a situation where we have no Brexit at all.”
Later in Tuesday’s debate former Conservative minister and now independent MP Anna Soubry paid tribute to the PM’s fortitude in continuing to persevere.
She said most people would take to their beds if unwell, but noted Mrs May “simply battles on”.
Her vocal struggles were also mentioned by the SNP MP Stephen Gethins, who, while making an intervention, joked he would give Mrs May a “moment to get another cough sweet from the Chancellor”.
That was in reference to the speech in Manchester in 2017 where she was unable to get through her remarks, eventually being handed a lozenge by Philip Hammond.