Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Britain's May seeks compromise with Labour as time ticks on Brexit deal

The UK parliament last month roundly rejected a Brexit deal Prime Minister Theresa May had sealed with the remaining 27 EU leaders May urges U.K. legislators to allow more time to get Brexit deal
Deanna Wagner | 12 February, 2019, 08:26

May will promise lawmakers a second opportunity to influence the Brexit talks later in the month in a bid to stave off any rebellion from within her own party by those who fear Britain could end up leaving without a deal.

She said the government needed to "get serious" about policy on a customs union and guarantee to "legislate for the protections around workers' rights".

In a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, she questioned his call for a customs union with Brussels, but offered concessions in other areas and said she wanted talks between Labour and Tory teams "as soon as possible".

But Mr Corbyn's demand is for a customs union that gives the United Kingdom a say on future trade deals the EU might strike and is something Brussels appears unlikely to accept.

"On your point about the deadline and could we have a time limit, I think it must be pretty obvious that if you are going to have a time limit to the backstop and I think that would be a very good thing".

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay will meet European Union negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday to discuss changes to the part of the exit deal relating to the "backstop", an insurance policy against the return of a hard border between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

Asked if changes to the backstop proposals could come in a separate codicil to the Withdrawal Agreement, Mr Johnson said: "I don't think that would be good enough".

She wrote: "I am not clear why you believe it would be preferable to seek a say in future European Union trade deals rather than the ability to strike our own deals?"

We need to break the Brexit deadlock.

South Korea, US sign cost-sharing deal for American troops
The North and its main backer, China, also would like to see the US military presence removed from their doorstep. Since the deal is only valid for one year, the two sides may soon have to return to the negotiating table.

Theresa May has responded to Jeremy Corbyn's letter setting out his five demands for a Brexit deal.

Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss refused to rule out resigning if Mrs May backed a customs union.

"There is no doubt that our economy is being overshadowed by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process", he told Sky News.

Mrs May's statement to the House of Commons is being made a day earlier than had been expected. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, these would need to be completed by 29 March, an ambition that many in British business now believe to be nearly impossible. Frontbench amendments often struggle to get cross-party support, ...

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.

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.

Barnier told a news conference in Luxembourg that time was "extremely short" to conclude a deal before Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29.

And instead of a "meaningful" vote, ministers could be given another series of non-binding votes on possible Brexit alternatives by February 27 with the final vote on whether to approve or reject the deal delayed until the following month.