Theresa May tells MPs to 'hold our nerve' over Brexit deal

13 February, 2019, 19:08 | Author: Regina Silva
  • REUTERS  PETER NICHOLLS

But so far European Union officials have refused to make any changes to the agreement, leaving Ms.

"It is actually, I think, in the interests of this parliament, and in the interests of taking legislation through, that we see a strong vote from across the whole house", May told parliament.

"We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this house has required and deliver Brexit on time", May is due to tell MPs.

The motion for debate on Thursday simply affirms "the approach to leaving the EU" backed by the Commons on 29 January, when an amendment was passed in favour of an attempt to replace the Northern Ireland backstop with "alternative arrangements". Opponents, including dozens of Ms.

May and other Cabinet ministers are holding talks with senior European Union officials in an attempt to add a time limit or an exit clause to the backstop.

The EU is reluctant to make any gestures towards the United Kingdom on the backstop, not only because of maintaining peace in Northern Ireland and preventing a backdoor into the EU's single market, but also because the bloc is not convinced that any EU concession would be enough for May get a majority she needs.

Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper, a leading campaigner against Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement, published a new bill on Tuesday that seeks to force a decision by government on whether Britain would leave with a deal, without a deal or extend the negotiation period by mid-March.

A Government spokesman said: 'We would not comment on alleged remarks from a private conversation which is said to have been overheard in a hotel bar'.

May "is playing for time and playing with people's jobs, our economic security and the future of our industry", said Corbyn.

A working group comprised of both pro and anti-Brexit Conservative MPs has been discussing possible alternatives.

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The EU has remained adamant that no changes would be made to the withdrawal agreement, which together with the political declaration is part of the deal the two sides negotiated over 18 painstaking months.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday night negotiations with the United Kingdom will continue in the "coming days" - but warned earlier that on the British side "something has to give".

Adding that she will make a statement to parliament on February 26 if there is no deal brought back before then.

The European Parliament's chief Brexit official is increasingly exasperated by the lack of clear British proposals coming from London seeking to unblock the current deadlock.

According to economists polled by Reuters, Britain's economy will barely grow in the run-up to Brexit but if there is a deal there will be a modest post-divorce upturn.

Lawmakers may be unnerved by the latest round of financial data, which showed Monday that Britain's economy slowed a year ago to its weakest growth rate since the global financial crisis.

In the fourth quarter, British business investment fell 1.4 percent for the fourth straight quarterly decline - the first time that has happened since the 2008 financial crisis.

May can salvage her situation by playing ball with Corbyn and accepting his offer for collaboration if she would only reject a Brexit without a deal.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned on Tuesday that the U.K economy could face a shock from a no-deal Brexit.

"I agree that the longer this goes on, the more risky it gets, obviously", Stewart said.

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