Post-Brexit trade partners ask United Kingdom to lower human rights standards

14 February, 2019, 06:46 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to accept his alternative plan for

Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay will meet European Union negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday ahead of a crunch moment in parliament on Thursday, when lawmakers will try to force May to change course or give up control of the exit process.

Carolyn Fairbairn of business group the Confederation of British Industry said failure to secure a deal in good time was "negligence on behalf of our political institutions and leaders".

In a statement updating the Commons on progress in talks, Mrs May acknowledged she would need "some time" to seek legally-binding changes from the European Union to the controversial backstop for the Irish border.

It is that promise that led to this week's vote.

Britain's Parliament on Thursday will hold the latest in a series of debates and votes, in which pro-EU lawmakers will try to change the government's course, ruling out a "no-deal" Brexit and aiming for close post-Brexit ties with the EU.

"Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March".

The ERG looks likely to vote against May's Brexit motion on Thursday, because "it rules out no deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels", according to the group's vice chair Mark Francois.

Its vice chairman, Mark Francois, said: "We can not vote for this as it's now configured because it rules out no deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels".

Robbins said any extension of Article 50 would be "long" and would force MPs to back her deal.

More news: U.S. officials arrive in China for trade talks as deadline looms

She added: "The prime minister can only get away with that if the House of Commons allows her to get away with that, and the longer it does the more complicit it will become in the disaster that eventually unfolds".

Other MPs supporting the move include the senior Labour MP Hilary Benn, Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve and the Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb.

His interpretation was denied by Mrs May's spokesman who said: "No-deal is an eventuality we wish to avoid, but one we continue to plan for".

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 global supply chains and hindering investment. But I'm not the only person in Westminster this week to be wondering whether after many, many, many months of private conversations where this possibility was discussed, in the next couple of weeks, maybe even in the next couple of days, something that actually is critical is going to start happening.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said Wednesday the government is not planning a delay, saying "the prime minister has been very clear that we are committed to leaving on March 29".

With 45 days to go however, Mr Grieve warned time was running perilously short under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act which requires 21 sitting days before the ratification of any global treaty.

"She's determined to try and avoid a no-deal Brexit if she can, because she recognizes in talking to business that this could be very damaging for the United Kingdom economy and ergo jobs", Tony Smurfit, chief executive of Irish packaging group Smurfit Kappa, told Reuters.

Mrs May told the Commons: "We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House requires and deliver Brexit on time".

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