Theresa May to ask MPs for more time on Brexit talks

Theresa May to ask MPs for more time on Brexit talks

Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Monday that "something has to give" on the British side to secure an orderly Brexit. Earlier in the day, the prime minister began clearing the path to rushing through a deal at a very late stage.

Mrs May is looking for a way to assuage her party's concerns about the Northern Ireland "backstop" - the default arrangements to avoid a hard border between the province and the Republic of Ireland if Britain and the European Union struggle to reach a long-term partnership agreement in the years ahead.

"It appears the prime minister has just one real tactic: to run down the clock hoping members of this House are blackmailed into supporting a deeply flawed deal", Corbyn told Parliament.

May compounded her problems when she precipitously rejected outright Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's offer to play ball with her over Brexit if she would only renounce a Brexit without a deal.

Some lawmakers want to use Thursday's votes to impose conditions on Mrs May's Conservative government in an attempt to rule out a cliff-edge "no deal" Brexit that would see Britain crash out of the European Union without a framework for smooth future relations. "We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House requires and deliver Brexit on time".

May is seeking to buy time.


According to the UK-based media outlet, senior Tory and Labour lawmakers allied to set a new, legally-binding deadline of mid-March for any European Union agreement to be ratified.

Adding, "By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers' rights and environmental protections and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations, I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support".

Brexiteer MPs in her Conservative Party are particularly unhappy with the so-called backstop provision meant to keep the border with Ireland free-flowing.

Theresa May and the European Union are heading for a high-stakes, last-minute gamble that will decide whether the United Kingdom leaves the bloc with or without a deal, people familiar with both sides said. The prime minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months [that no-deal remains an option].

"It is actually a reckless policy", Labour's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who is in charge of the parliamentary timetable, denied the government was wasting time.


The group, including Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, have said they are ready to table an amendment enabling Parliament to force ministers to seek a delay if there is no deal in place, preventing the country falling into a no-deal Brexit "by accident".

"She is playing for time, and playing with people's jobs, our economic security, and the future of our industries", he said.

The Brexit uncertainty is beginning to be felt across the economy.

Brexit debate will reopen in Parliament tomorrow, though, giving lawmakers the opportunity to propose alternatives to Ms May's deal.

Figures released this week showed the British economy barely expanding at the end of past year, as business investment, manufacturing output and construction all declined.


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