May holds talks with European Union chiefs in new bid for Brexit breakthrough

12 March, 2019, 06:32 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Brexit Talks 'Deadlocked' Despite Appeal to EU for Last-Minute Concession

Despite the Prime Minister supposedly securing "legally binding" changes, the DUP has not openly confirmed its support for Mrs May's deal as of yet.

"Technical" talks between officials took place in Brussels over the weekend and May spoke to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night, although a Downing Street source said the negotiations were "deadlocked".

They fear the deal will leave Britain a "vassal state" with its plans for a transition period and the "backstop" plan for the Irish border, and chafe at the £39 billion exit bill.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the only talks that mattered now were "between the government in London and the Parliament in London", indicating very little scope for concessions from the EU side ahead of Tuesday's vote.

The first of the votes comes tomorrow.

"Today, we have secured legal changes", Ms May said in Strasbourg, France.

"There is a widely held view that the United Kingdom has not been negotiating in good faith over the last few days", he said, adding that at least one diplomat had mentioned planning for a "post-Theresa May government".

Breitbart London reported in February that the Eurosceptic populist Sweden Democrats party, set to double their vote share in the May European Parliament (EP) elections, has backed off from supporting a public vote on leaving the EU after observing the way Brussels has treated London.

With Britain due to leave the European Union on March 29, and no agreed direction for the world's fifth-largest economy to take, Prime Minister Theresa May will ask lawmakers to vote on up to three possible outcomes.

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And there are a variety of views within the ERG itself, with some leading figures taking a more hardline approach than others. He is pressing for a legally-binding guarantee that Britain would not be trapped indefinitely in the backstop arrangement .

"I think that an important offer has again been made to Britain, and now it is, of course, for Britain to respond to these offers", she said in Berlin. But the great majority of lawmakers, including most Conservative members of Parliament, will vote against a no-deal Brexit because they believe it would be economically damaging and disruptive.

"The choice is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all", he said.

Late Monday, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington announced in the House of Commons that the two sides had agreed on "legally binding changes" to a portion of the deal relating to the Irish border.

He told Reuters he expected half of those to redomicile to the European Union in a no-deal or "hard" Brexit.

She appealed to Labour, Conservative and Scottish Nationalist Party members to back the deal and defer seeking changes until they debate legislation in the weeks ahead.

"The EU will continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the United Kingdom leaves the EU with an agreement".

Labour's Yvette Cooper, one of the key players behind parliamentary moves to stop no deal, has said she and a cross-party group of MPs would consider steps to force those indicative votes as an amendment to any motion for an extension to article 50.

This vote is likely to see no deal taken out of the Brexit equation - leading to a third vote on Thursday for Brexit to be delayed altogether.

For all of the prime minister's weaknesses as a politician - her repetition of talking points has earned her the nickname "the Maybot" - she has proved remarkably durable.

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