May to appeal for more time to secure backstop changes

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 11, 2019

The British government is seeking to win more time to secure European Union concessions on Brexit that could pass parliament and avert a chaotic split from the bloc on March 29.

But he confirmed a meaningful vote on whether to accept or reject a revised deal might not happen until March.

The Prime Minister is expected to ask MPs to give her more time to secure changes to her Brexit deal, as well as promising them another say on her plans, in a bid to placate ministers anxious about a no-deal exit.

He told the Sunday Times he fears the Prime Minister is "pretending to make progress" but actually intends to return to Parliament after the March 21/22 European Council summit the week before Brexit and offer MPs a "binary choice" - her deal or no deal. "That gives that sense of timetable, clarity and objective on what we're doing". He pledged to give parliament a fresh vote on Britain's options by February 27 if May does not come back with new concessions before then. It is that promise that led to this week's vote.

A vote on the deal is now expected to be held later this month.

Labour's Brexit policy chief Keir Starmer told the Sunday Times newspaper that his party would seek to use the debate in parliament this week to prevent May from waiting until the last minute to come back with a deal, and compel her to present a fresh accord for lawmakers to consider before February 26.

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A customs union is one of the demands made for any deal to get Labour support.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is meeting European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Paris and Warsaw for talks this week.

The sides are stuck on the issue of how to keep the Irish border open after Britain leaves.

Japan has sought to extract hefty concessions from Britain before Brexit, while talks with many nations have been delayed by the lack of clarity over Britain's future trading relationship with the EU.

May's Northern Irish coalition party also argue that it will splinter their province from mainland Britain.

May has been trying to win a legal assurance giving Britain the right eventually to drop the backstop and negotiate its own trade deals.

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