PM May tries to tweak defeated Brexit plan, refuses to rule out no-deal

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to break the parliamentary impasse over Brexit on Monday by proposing to search additional concessions from the European Union on a plan to forestall customs checks on the Irish border.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves church, close to High Wycombe, Britain, January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

With little time left till the United Kingdom is due to go away the European Union on March 29, there is no such thing as a settlement in London on how and even whether or not it ought to go away the world’s largest buying and selling bloc, and a rising probability of a dramatic ‘no-deal’ exit with no provisions to soften the financial shock.

After her Brexit divorce take care of Brussels was rejected by 432-202 lawmakers final Tuesday, the most important defeat in trendy British historical past, May has been looking for a approach to get a deal via.

She advised parliament she couldn’t take a “no-deal” Brexit off the desk as there was no accredited different, and the EU can be unlikely to postpone Britain’s exit date – decided by the “Article 50” withdrawal discover – with out an exit plan.

“No-deal will only be taken off the table by either revoking Article 50, which turns back the results of the referendum – the government will not do that – or by having a deal, and that is what we are trying to work out,” May stated.

She stated one other referendum would strengthen the hand of these searching for to break up the United Kingdom and will harm social cohesion by undermining religion in democracy.

May vowed to be “more flexible” with lawmakers in attempting to agree adjustments to the Northern Irish backstop, an insurance coverage coverage to guarantee there will likely be no return to border checks between the British province and Ireland.

“I will then take the conclusions of those discussions back to the EU,” May stated. “My focus continues to be on what is needed to secure the support of this House in favor of a Brexit deal with the EU.”


Hardline supporters of Brexit in May’s Conservative occasion object above all to the truth that Britain can not unilaterally finish the backstop, which might maintain it in a customs union with the EU till an alternate approach of making certain an open border is discovered. Brussels says this provision is non-negotiable.

May’s job is gargantuan: Convince the EU to reopen negotiations after which safe sufficient adjustments to achieve the help of at the least 115 lawmakers who beforehand voted towards the deal.

The EU, which has an economic system greater than six instances the dimensions of the United Kingdom, says it needs an orderly exit, however senior officers have expressed frustration at London’s disaster.

German Europe Minister Michael Roth stated on Monday that even William Shakespeare wouldn’t have been ready to suppose up a Brexit tragedy of such drama.

Amid fears that the world’s fifth largest economic system may drop out of the EU with no deal, some lawmakers are planning to wrest management of the method from the federal government.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, stated the bloc was prepared to work on the political declaration on future EU-UK ties, however that the withdrawal deal already agreed, which it accompanies, was the very best one attainable.

In an indication of how grave the political disaster has turn out to be, May was compelled to deny a Daily Telegraph report that she was contemplating amending the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland. An open border with Ireland is broadly seen as essential to sustaining this peace.


Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee stated Dublin wouldn’t have interaction in bilateral talks on Brexit, and would negotiate solely as a part of the remaining EU.

Ireland additionally rejected a proposal by Poland’s international minister that the backstop be time-limited.

The 650-seat parliament is deeply divided over Brexit, with completely different factions supporting a variety of choices together with leaving with no deal, holding a second referendum and searching for a customs union with the EU.

Lawmakers will debate and vote on the following steps on Jan. 29, and earlier than then they will put ahead amendments to May’s proposals.

The opposition Labour Party put ahead an modification searching for to drive the federal government to give parliament time to contemplate and vote on choices to forestall a ‘no deal’ exit. Among them must be a everlasting customs union with the EU and a second referendum on Brexit, the occasion stated – each proposals that May has dominated out.

May had earlier chided Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn for not participating in cross-party talks, however he stated May was in denial. “Her current deal is undeliverable,” he stated.

Hilary Benn, a Labour lawmaker who chairs parliament’s Brexit committee, stated: “While her door may have been open, her mind has remained closed because she has rejected stopping us leaving the EU with no deal, even though she knows it would be disastrous.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group of anti-EU lawmakers in May’s occasion, stated Britain was almost certainly to go away with no deal.

But if the backstop have been scrapped, he stated a lot of the opposition from Conservative eurosceptics can be eliminated.

Sterling , which has flip-flopped over the previous two-and-a-half years on completely different alerts concerning the course of Brexit, rose barely to round $1.29 on hopes of a compromise. On the day of the referendum in 2016, it was buying and selling at $1.50.

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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