May accused of playing 'chicken' with Brexit talks

Boris Johnson Again Offers to Back May’s ‘Total Surrender’ Brexit Deal He ly Denounced		Getty Images11 Feb 2019

Boris Johnson Again Offers to Back May’s ‘Total Surrender’ Brexit Deal He ly Denounced Getty Images11 Feb 2019

On the question of the backstop - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland - the station said Robbins had outlined a strategy to satisfy May's Conservative lawmakers.

The prime minister also said that if there is no deal by February 26, the government will make a statement on that day and table another amendable motion for MPs to vote on the following day. "We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House has required and deliver Brexit on time".

Yet again, this wouldn't amount to binding legal assurances but they are merely political commitments created to offer some leeway in the current Brexit withdrawal agreement.

May said delaying Britain's departure from the European Union would bring no end to Brexit uncertainty or push parliament any closer to approving a withdrawal agreement, the FT report said, citing people who took part in a phone call with the prime minister.

On January 15, MPs voted it down by 432 votes to 202 in an historic defeat for the prime minister, brought about by opposition to the backstop from within May's own party.

She faced accusations that she's deliberately running down the clock in order to blackmail Parliament into backing her divorce package under the threat of a chaotic, no-deal split that could hit the pound by as much as 25 per cent.

Pro-Brexit MPs in May's Conservative Party are unhappy particularly with a so-called backstop provision meant to keep the border with Ireland free-flowing.

The UK and EU made a commitment to avoid physical barriers or checks on the border if no UK-EU trade deal is agreed before the Brexit transition period ends.

May also hinted that a provision in the UK's Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, which dictates that global treaties must sit for 21 days of parliamentary sittings before they can be ratified, would be waived to give her government more time to broker an acceptable deal with the EU.

Corbyn faces pressure from some of his own MPs, who want him to push for a second referendum.

"By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers' rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support", May will say.

News reported that Mr Robbins, who is a key figure in the negotiations with the European Union, indicated that if MPs did not vote for a deal then the delay to Brexit would be "a long one". The Prime Minister has been very clear that we are committed to leaving on March 29'.

Uncertainty about what trade relationship Britain will have with the bloc after Brexit is weighing on the United Kingdom economy.

On Tuesday representatives from 32 food industry groups said in a letter to Rural Affairs Minister Michael Gove that the industry was facing a crisis and companies were "now totally focused on working to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit".

There is however still a political impasse, said Martill, adding that while both parties were playing strategically, "it's quite unlikely to see where all the support for the withdrawal agreement is going to come from".

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