Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Cabinet to consider Brexit deal in special meeting on Wednesday

British Prime Minister Theresa May listens as Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis speaks at the start of their meeting inside 10 Downing Street in London. Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain The clock is ticking for Theresa May on Brexit
Patty Aguilar | 14 November, 2018, 02:32

He made the plea as it emerged a Brexit deal has been reached by negotiators in Brussels, which will be put before United Kingdom ministers at a crunch Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The comments by Lidington confirm to markets that the two sides are working hard to secure a deal this November to ensure there remains ample time for all sides to push through the necessary domestic legislation to make a deal possible in March 2019.

Meanwhile, the UK's main opposition parties have written to May demanding she gives parliament "a truly meaningful vote" on the divorce deal agreed with the EU.

"Cabinet will meet at 2 p.m. tomorrow to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps", a spokesman at May's Downing Street office said. May's Cabinet is meeting Tuesday for an update.

The main obstacle has always been how to ensure there are no customs posts or other checks along the border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland after Brexit.

Both sides are hoping for a special summit at the end of the month to finalise the "divorce agreement" and thrash out the issue of the Irish border. His Conservative colleague Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, described the draft deal as "unacceptable", adding, "For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament will not have a say over the laws that govern this country".

Is Theresa May about to agree a Brexit deal?

Mrs May will face resistance from Tory Brexiters like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg who fear that a deal could tie the United Kingdom indefinitely to Brussels, following rules which it has no part in shaping. He urged his parliamentary colleagues to vote against the deal.

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It is an insurance policy to avoid a return to controls on the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland if a future trading relationship is not agreed in time.

If a deal really is to be brokered this week then the suspicion has to be that the prime minister is deliberately taking it down to the wire in order to force her Cabinet into agreement.

Former transport minister Jo Johnson said he made a decision to quit Mrs May's Government because he was concerned at reports she was planning a publicity campaign which he said amounted to a "calculated deceit".

Downing Street sources say there has been no breakthrough yet but believe a Brexit deal could still be struck this week.

The breakthrough in negotiations means European Union leaders might be able to ratify the deal at a summit in Brussels later this month.

Her coalition partners from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have also threatened to vote against the agreement if they find it splinters the province from the rest of Britain.

However, the backstop is set not to come with a fixed end date, as demanded by pro-Brexit MPs, but with a "review clause" for deciding when it can come to an end. He suggested the DUP might withdraw its support for May's government if that was the case.

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