What Next? UK seeks elusive Brexit deal to end uncertainty

05 April, 2019, 06:07 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May

EU leaders have agreed to extend the original March 29 Brexit deadline until April 12 to avoid a chaotic "no-deal" ending to the 46-year EU-UK partnership. The bloc says it will only agree to delay Brexit if Britain breaks its impasse and comes up with a new plan.

In a hastily arranged statement from Downing Street after spending more then seven hours chairing crisis cabinet meetings, May said she'd seek a further extension to Brexit from Brussels.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond said a referendum on any Brexit deal was a "perfectly credible" proposal.

"If passed. this bill would place a severe constraint on the government's ability to negotiate an extension", May's spokesman said.

The new legislation is set to arrive in the Lords on Thursday, where Eurosceptic peers could try and frustrate its passage through the House.

The Commons may still be able to put forward the version of Brexit it supports, as the PM has promised to grant more indicative votes if the talks between her and Corbyn fail to lead to a breakthrough.

The UK has until 12 April to propose a plan to the European Union - which must be accepted by the bloc - or it will leave without a deal on that date.

The Labour Party has consistently called for Britain to remain in a customs union with the EU while the government has so far ruled this out saying Britain should have an independent trade policy after Brexit.

They said that the WA itself (on citizens' rights, money and the Northern Ireland border) was not renegotiable but there was leeway to change the political declaration (PD) on the future relationship, for example to choose a softer kind of Brexit with a closer UK/EU relationship.

The cross-party bill was spearheaded by Labour's Yvette Cooper and the Conservative Oliver Letwin. under it, a legal mechanism is created where the Commons can instruct the Prime Minister to see Article 50 extension in absence of an approval resolution of Brexit withdrawal agreement.

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May is hoping that under that scenario Britain could still leave with a deal before May 22, so it did not have to take part in European Parliament elections.

In the most significant development of the day, May held talks at her office in the House of Commons with Corbyn and his senior aides.

In either event, Mrs May said she would ask the EU for a further short extension to Brexit in the hopes of getting an agreement passed by Parliament before 22 May, so that the United Kingdom does not have to take part in European elections.

It came as Brexiteer Tories circulated a draft parliamentary motion calling for the Prime Minister and members of her cabinet to be censured and have their pay docked for not delivering Brexit on time.

May's divorce deal with the European Union has been defeated three times by the lower house of the British parliament, which failed on Monday to find a majority of its own for any alternatives. She also came under attack from a number of her own Conservative MPs for agreeing talks with the Labour leader.

In this photo provided by the UK Parliament, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, center, in the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer confirmed the idea of a confirmatory referendum would be discussed in the second round of talks.

In a point of order following the results, the MP for Grantham and Stamford said he could "no longer sit for this party", adding: "I have done everything I can to find a compromise".

British Minister of Wales Nigel Adams resigned from the government and Conservative Party whip after failing to agree the latest Brexit strategy of Prime Minister Theresa May.

But 25 Labour lawmakers warned Corbyn in a letter that support for a referendum would "reduce our chances of winning a general election".


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