Sunday, 17 February, 2019

James Brokenshire says Commons will have chance to block no-deal Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a meeting at Farmleigh House in Dublin Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a meeting at Farmleigh House in Dublin
Patty Aguilar | 11 February, 2019, 12:45

On Wednesday, Mrs May will ask MPs for more time to get legally-binding changes to the controversial Northern Irish backstop, which she believes will be enough to secure a majority in Parliament for her deal. The new pledge would be for a repeat of this process by February 27.

Labour wants to force the government to bring back a "meaningful vote" on Theresa May's Brexit deal by the end of this month.

None the less, addressing to a gesture of goodwill from EU leaders, who would want to ensure that UK leaves the bloc with a decipherable deal, which could also pass through to the House of Commons, the UK PM May said, "What I see and hear from leaders is a desire for us to work together to ensure that we can deliver the UK leaving the European Union with a deal".

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 but has yet to find a deal which is acceptable to both Brussels and lawmakers at home, raising the prospect of a disorderly exit that could damage the world's fifth largest economy.

Housing minister James Brokenshire said on Sunday May would commit to giving parliament another debate on Brexit with the chance to vote on alternative options, if a deal had not yet been agreed and voted upon by then.

Sir Keir earlier said his plan was necessary to put a "hard stop" to Mrs May "running down the clock" before the March 29 deadline.

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Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said firms were now in the "emergency zone" due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, ahead of the March 29 European Union departure date.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Mr Starmer described Mrs May's approach as "reckless" and "blinkered" and blamed her "tunnel vision" for the devastating defeat suffered last month when MPs threw out her Brexit deal by a record 230 votes. Question marks linger over the departure date as Theresa May still struggles to strike a negotiated deal that can win the backing of parliament. 'There needs to be a day when Parliament says that's it, enough is enough'.

The move led to a backlash from pro-EU Labour MPs, but Mr Starmer defended the approach and warned against a split in the party.

"Or the only way to break the impasse is to have a public vote, and that remains our policy".

"The prospect is the day after Brexit those deals will disappear", Carolyn Fairbairn told Sky News.

Labour is proposing its own Brexit plan, which would involve the United Kingdom staying in a customs union with the EU, which they say could get the backing of a majority of MPs.

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