May faces fresh Commons attempt to block a no-deal Brexit

May faces fresh Commons attempt to block a no-deal Brexit

In an admission that some countries have sought to extract a high price for their continuing to trade with Britain after leaving the EU, Liam Fox, the worldwide trade secretary, said some nations had made the requests as part of talks.

Britain's lead Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has said lawmakers face a choice between May's exit deal or a long extension of the March 29 deadline, according to reports.

The group, including Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, have said they are ready to table an amendment enabling parliament to force ministers to seek a delay if there is no deal in place.

Robbins said he expected United Kingdom lawmakers in March to be presented with the option of backing a reworked Brexit deal or a potentially significant delay to Brexit, the broadcaster said.

As time ticks down to Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is cautioning there's "still a bit of work ahead of us" in trying to agree upon an orderly exit.

The focus of numerous pro-Brexit lawmakers is the motion the government will put forward on Thursday, which some suggest takes a no deal scenario off the table.

The delayed vote means that May's government will have very little time to pass the legislation required to ratify the deal, meaning that a short extension of the Article 50 process is now likely.

The First Minister spoke out after a meeting of her Cabinet and the Scottish Government's resilience committee, which saw preparations for a no-deal Brexit stepped up.

If parliament does not ultimately approve a deal, under current legislation Britain will leave without an agreement, an outcome many businesses say would be catastrophic for the world's fifth largest economy by causing major delays at ports, fracturing worldwide supply chains and hindering investment.

The move points to deep splits within Labour over Brexit.

May has promised MPs another chance to vote, on February 27, on what to do if no deal is reached.

"They have obviously elections for the parliament and a commission that will be formed at the end of May, so there is no desire on the European side to see what one described to me as an "extension in darkness", where there is no clarity as to why we are extending".

"I have said in the last few weeks that in reality for the Labour party the only credible options now left are a close economic relationship - that's the sort of relationship we spelt out in the letter to the Prime Minister last week - or a public vote".

The votes are not legally binding, and a House of Commons split between Brexit-backers and European Union supporters has so far sent contradictory messages.

Addressing the House of Commons a fortnight after MPs voted for her to go back to Brussels and replace the controversial Irish border backstop, Mrs May acknowledged that she would need "some time" to hold talks with the EU.

Downing Street insisted by the time the 21-day period to consider the Brexit treaty kicked in, MPs would already have passed judgment on it in the "meaningful vote" and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Corbyn told parliament the prime minister has just one real tactic: "to run down the clock hoping Members of this House are blackmailed into supporting a deeply flawed deal".

MEPs, meanwhile, are to vote today on laws to prevent disruption for airlines and hauliers in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Related Articles