United Kingdom premier wants more time to solve Brexit impasse

United Kingdom premier wants more time to solve Brexit impasse

United Kingdom premier wants more time to solve Brexit impasse

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons she needed more time to salvage the European Union withdrawal agreement which was soundly rejected by members of Parliament last month.

The Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has played down a report that Theresa May could force MPs to choose between backing her deal or accepting a delay to European Union withdrawal.

The EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said on Monday the bloc would agree to tweak the political declaration on post-Brexit EU-UK ties that forms part of the exit package, to reflect a plan for a closer future relationship that could remove the need for the backstop.

She said May would promise MPs they could hold a series of votes on February 27 in an attempt to influence her Brexit strategy if she has not agreed a new deal by then. Now, May is left with few choices; either one of which is disastrous for her nation: Either shooting herself in the foot by ending up with Brexit without a deal, or just as bad risk undermining the Good Friday Agreement on Ireland.

Responding to May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Britain was facing the biggest crisis in its history, accusing her of playing for time to win backing for her Brexit deal by running down the clock towards the Brexit day on March 29.

"I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support", Mrs May told parliament.

"The talks are at a crucial stage", May added.

She will urge MPs to "hold our nerve" to get the changes to the Brexit deal.

The opposition was having none of this.

British lawmakers rejected May's withdrawal deal last month, with the major sticking point being the Irish backstop - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

Barclay on Monday evening had been expected to argue for unspecified "alternative arrangements", a time limit to the backstop, or a unilateral exit clause from the backstop, which keeps the United Kingdom aligned with the EU's customs union.

Theresa May is braced for another damaging defeat in the Commons on Thursday after Tory Eurosceptics accused her of ruling out a no deal Brexit. "She is playing for time and playing with people's jobs, our economic security and the future of our industry".

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who is in charge of the parliamentary timetable, denied that the government was wasting time.

Cooper said her bill would require May and parliament to resolve by the middle of March whether Britain is leaving the European Union with a deal, leaving without a deal or seeking an extension to the deadline.

"It is a negotiation".

Mark Francois, vice-chair of the ERG, told the BBC: "We can not vote for this as it is now configured because it rules out no deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels".

Figures released Monday showed Britain's economy slowed past year to its joint-slowest annual rate since 2009, with business investment declining for four straight quarters. Bank of England governor Mark Carney last week said "the fog of Brexit" was to blame for the bank's equally grim forecasts of a continued growth slowdown in 2019.

"It is in the interests of everyone, arguably everywhere ... that a Brexit solution that works for all is found in the weeks ahead".

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