May secures new assurrances from EU

15 March, 2019, 05:24 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • The U.K. Parliament held its third critical vote on Brexit this week on Thursday

In a letter to EU Council president Donald Tusk, who represents member states, Juncker stressed that Britain must leave the European Union before the start of the May 23 to 26 EU parliamentary vote at the latest.

If the deal is voted down, MPs will Wednesday vote on whether Britain should simply leave on March 29 without any deal at all.

The "no-deal" scenario's likely defeat would lead to a vote on Thursday on requesting a delay to Brexit from the EU.

Seven cabinet ministers were among those to vote against the motion: Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

"I also reiterate our support for a People's Vote - not as a political point-scoring exercise but as a realistic option to break the deadlock".

Sterling rose sharply on Tuesday as speculation swirled that British Prime Minister Theresa May might be closer to securing approval for her Brexit deal.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, Justice Secretary David Gauke along with Business Secretary Greg Clark and Scottish Secretary David Mundell all abstained on the key vote despite a three line whip being imposed.

The view of the Attorney General is seen as a major blow to any hopes May had of getting sufficient support in Parliament to vote for her withdrawal deal.

Mrs May later headed to the Commons to address Tory MPs behind closed doors. May has been seeking changes from the European Union that might persuade enough lawmakers to back the deal.

The result was welcomed by business, with Josh Hardie of the CBI saying it showed "there is still some common sense in Westminster". "They lack courage and belief in our great nation".

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The British parliament will vote later Tuesday on whether to back the withdrawal agreement, after May returned from meetings in Strasbourg brandishing what she said were new guarantees from Europe.

"That is what parliament asked us to secure and that is what we have secured".

May's deputy, David Lidington, then announced to MPs that the United Kingdom had secured three changes to the agreement that May had put before the Commons last Monday. Everything she had done since she entered office was meant to deliver that.

'She didn't want there to be an extension and brought forward the Withdrawal Agreement twice. He told the BBC that the improved deal "ensures that we have additional legal weight behind our position".

'What we now intend to do if at all possible is to secure a deal which allows us to ask only for a short technical extension which would allow us to have left the European Union by June 30'.

The defeat came after May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced changes Monday created to overcome lawmakers' concerns about provisions created to ensure the border between EU member Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland remains open after Brexit.

United Kingdom lawmakers have rejected a move to give the British public a second referendum on Brexit, after the opposition Labour Party told its members to abstain from the vote.

Flint, Hoey and Mann were also among six Labour MPs who voted against the Benn amendment that would have given parliament further control of the Brexit process.

Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl said there could be "some problem" in agreeing an extension if it took Brexit beyond the date of European elections.


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