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Brexit: Theresa May to present plan B after humiliating defeat

By News Express on 21/01/2019

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•British PM Theresa May
•British PM Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday tell parliament how she plans to proceed with Brexit after MPs on Tuesday roundly rejected her proposed deal for the country's withdrawal from the European Union.

With fewer than 70 days to go until Brexit, scheduled to take place on March 29, May will share a plan B with MPs.

But some opposition politicians who met with May last week as she scrambled for cross-party consensus said the leader was in no mood to compromise.

The Green Party's Caroline Lucas told the BBC: "I asked her what she would be willing to potentially change and I got no answer.

"She's blackmailing MPs hoping to run down the clock by trying to force them to accept her deal because that's better than crashing out with no deal."

May's deal was defeated in parliament on January 15, with 432 MPs voting against it and just 202 for.

On January 16, May survived a confidence vote launched by the opposition.

On Monday, she is expected to discuss one of the central Brexit issues - the Irish backstop. British media reported late on Sunday that she might suggest dropping the safety net provision to appease critics.

Within the withdrawal agreement, the backstop prevents a hard border being erected between Northern Ireland, a constituent part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, if a trade deal hasn't been agreed between the EU and the UK by the end of the transition period.

Under the terms of the agreement, the whole of the UK will remain in a customs union in relation to trade in goods with the EU "unless and until" the bloc agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border.

Oliver Patel, research associate at the University College London European Institute, said: "I am not really holding my breath for much clarity on the direction of travel - there is no clear indication of a major change in policy by Theresa May, and legally it is quite ambiguous what the content of this statement has to be."

Her statement will fulfil obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act that require the prime minister to tell parliament what she would do after it rejected the deal she negotiated with Brussels.

In principle she does not have to be precise - but May is under huge political pressure to flesh out her strategy as MPs gear up to propose their own alternatives to her vision of Brexit.

Parliament will debate and vote on her tweaked proposal on January 29. (Aljazeera)


Source News Express

Posted 21/01/2019 11:09:45 AM





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