Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

We can reach a Brexit deal parliament can support - PM May

We can reach a Brexit deal parliament can support - PM May

Last week in Northern Ireland the Shadow Brexit secretary said that the backstop must be part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

May's deal was resoundingly rejected in December over concerns around the backstop, which MPs pointed out the United Kingdom can not exit of its own accord.

"How it's achieved is not something to be purist about".

"So it is a negotiation".

Justice Minister Rory Stewart told the BBC on Monday that differences between the two aren't as great as some suggest, but the government can't accept a customs union that would prevent Britain from negotiating trade deals with other countries.

There appears little prospect of an imminent breakthrough with Brussels, and Mrs May might not bring her deal back for a decisive vote this month.

She promised to update Parliament at the end of the month but there is growing concern the talks will drag on into March and that the last chance to strike a deal will be at a two-day summit of European Union leaders starting on March 21, just eight days before the United Kingdom is slated to leave the bloc.

Theresa May has been accused of running down the clock in an attempt to force MPs to back her Brexit deal, after she called again for more talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Theresa May is planning on revealing her latest Brexit plan a day early in order to give MPs "time to digest the content".

The prime minister's office said she would tell parliament that "the talks are at a crucial stage".

"We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House requires and deliver Brexit on time", she said.

Mrs May rejected automatically following European Union rules on workers' rights and environmental protection but "in the interest of building support across the House" she said the Government is prepared to commit to asking Parliament if it wishes to follow suit if standards change.

The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Business Secretary will be hearing the same warnings as I am - that several more large manufacturers, household names employing tens of thousands of people, are poised to follow in Nissan's footsteps.

"A no-deal Brexit would lead to considerable concerns for one in 10 of our businesses".

Mrs May is asking for further cross-party talks "as soon as possible".

Their teams would continue to work in the meantime "on finding a way forward", it added.

Meanwhile, Sky News reported the former president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, had dinner with Mr Lidington in Brussels on Monday night.

Still, there's no sign she's willing to compromise on the most totemic issue of all - staying in a customs union with the bloc, as Labour demands.

Mrs Leadsom dismissed the prospect of Mrs May adopting Mr Corbyn's "world view".

But today the prime minister said that process could be put on fast forward.

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.

The deal will also apply to Liechtenstein - represented by foreign minister Aurelia Frick - under the Swiss-Liechtenstein Customs Union.

Mr Johnson accused Mr Corbyn of trying to "frustrate" Brexit by demanding a customs union, which he said would prevent the United Kingdom from striking its own trade deals.

"I think there's no doubt that what the Prime Minister is offering is better than what Corbyn is demanding, which simply begs the question, if they like it, why don't they vote for it?"

No wonder trade union leaders like Tim Roache of the GMB and Frances O'Grady of the TUC have rejected the Prime Minister's inadequate pledges.

A first attempt by opposition Labour lawmaker Cooper and Conservative Nick Boles to give parliament the power to request a delay to Britain's March 29 exit from the European Union was defeated by parliament on January 29.

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