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European Union Says ‘No Solution’ Yet to Break Brexit Deadlock

07 March, 2019, 08:23 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Syndicate Post image

May is hoping to get enough concessions so lawmakers back a revised deal next Tuesday.

As Mrs May prepares for next week's vote, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox refused to rule out backing a no-deal Brexit if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down by MPs next week.

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: "There is clear support for finding alternative arrangements to ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland".

It comes as a senior Brexiteer pointed to MPs' growing mood for compromise. He is pressing for a legally-binding guarantee that Britain would not be trapped indefinitely in the backstop arrangement.

For her part, Anna Soubry, the spokeswoman for the Independent Group made up of former Labor Party members and ex-conservative politicians, noted that it is a desperate measure by May, whose initial plan for the Brexit was rejected by the Parliament in January.

May has ruled out any such union which would be an anathema to eurosceptic MPs in her Conservative Party, although the idea has the support of some pro-EU Conservatives and the Labour Party.

Given the risks, British MPs last week agreed to give May more time to seek changes from Brussels, but if she can not get her deal passed by March 12, she has agreed to let parliament vote for a Brexit delay.

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British and European Union officials will continue technical talks on the Irish backstop in Brussels today, despite a downbeat assessment by the EU's chief negotiator of proposals put forward by the UK's Attorney General.

In private talks with Mr Cox, the ERG called for a legally binding mechanism to escape the backstop, with a clear exit route and an unambiguous rewrite of the language in the government's legal advice, according to The Sunday Times. It could also destabilize Northern Ireland's peace process, which has come to rely on free movement of people and goods across an open border.

"The EU continues to say that it wants this to be resolved and that it wants the United Kingdom to leave with a deal". The vote rejected the deal. And there are a variety of views within the ERG itself, with some leading figures taking a more hardline approach than others.

The bloc will be watching the British Parliament's action next week, but few in European Union hub Brussels believed the deal would be ratified by deeply split British lawmakers in their second go at it - two months after they resoundingly rejected the package.

"We have been forced into this by Theresa May delaying, running down the clock", John McDonnell told Sky News, saying Labour is still pushing to get its alternative Brexit plan adopted.

"I think there is something like 60 or 70 Labour MPs who feel as strongly as I do against a second referendum, but also I think it's important to recognise that many of those MPs also feel that we have to move on, we have to stop a no-deal and if there's an improved offer on the table, then Labour should engage with that sincerely", she added.

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