Theresa May has admitted the country faces a political crisis as she prepares to ask the European Union to allow Britain to delay Brexit. She will deliver her plea for extra time ahead of a Brussels summit on Thursday at which EU leaders are expected to spell out their exasperation over the chaos surrounding Brexit. The turmoil has been triggered by two crushing Commons defeats for her withdrawal plans and her continuing failure to win over Tory Eurosceptics and DUP MPs to supporting her Brexit blueprint. Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/brexit-theresa-may-crisis-eu-withdrawal-agreement/

Theresa May admits Britain is ‘in crisis’ as she asks EU for extra time to negotiate a deal

Prime Minister Theresa May in the cabinet office signs the official letter to European Council President Donald Tusk invoking Article 50 and the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU on March 28, 2017 [Getty Images]

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/brexit-theresa-may-crisis-eu-withdrawal-agreement/
Prime Minister Theresa May in the cabinet office signs the official letter to European Council President Donald Tusk invoking Article 50 and the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU on March 28, 2017 [Getty Images]

The turmoil has been triggered by two crushing Commons defeats for her withdrawal plans – Nigel Morris, i News

British Prime Minister Theresa May has admitted the country faces a political crisis as she prepares to ask the European Union to allow Britain to delay Brexit.

She will deliver her plea for extra time ahead of a Brussels summit on Thursday at which EU leaders are expected to spell out their exasperation over the chaos surrounding Brexit. The turmoil has been triggered by two crushing Commons defeats for her withdrawal plans and her continuing failure to win over Tory Eurosceptics and DUP MPs to supporting her Brexit blueprint.

It has been compounded by Speaker John Bercow’s warning that she cannot make a third attempt to win approval for her proposals unless they are substantially rewritten.

Crisis plea

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said she told MPs last week that “we would be in crisis” if they rejected her plans. EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says something new is needed if Article 50 is to be extended [Getty Images]

Read more: Cabinet at war as MPs threaten to resign posts over Article 50 extension

Referring to Mr Bercow’s surprise intervention, he added: “I think events yesterday tell you that that situation has come to pass.” Downing Street has admitted that time has run out for Britain to leave the EU on its scheduled departure date of 29 March and acknowledged the need for more time. Its preference is to hold a third “meaningful vote” next week – possibly on Thursday 28 March – followed by a short extension to pass the legislation required to pass the necessary legislation for Brexit.

Brexit postponed

Mrs May will make her case in a letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council president, to be sent on Wednesday. She is expected to call for postponement of Britain’s departure by at least three months, although reports have suggested that she could raise the prospect a far longer delay. However, Brussels warned that she will only be granted a lengthy delay if she produces a “concrete plan” for using the extra time.

The ultimatum was delivered by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. In words that appeared to open the door to a soft Brexit, second referendum or even general election, Mr Barnier said extra time would be granted for a “new event or a new political process”.

Is an extension useful?

It came as Germany, France and Ireland signalled their frustration at the latest impasse in the Brexit process. But Mr Barnier told journalists: “It is our duty to ask whether this extension would be useful because an extension will be something which would extend uncertainty and uncertainty costs.” He warned that the UK would need to propose “something new” to justify a lengthy extension, he said. It has been suggested that Mrs May could ask for a lengthy extension to Article 50, with the option of an early break in May or June if she manages to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament. But Mr Barnier said it was time for the government to spell out a clear preference, adding: “it’s either one or the other, isn’t it?”

Michael Roth, Germany’s Europe minister, said EU member states were “really exhausted” by the UK’s approach to talks, warning the situation was “not just a game”. His French counterpart Nathalie Loiseau said Ms May would have to present “something new” that did not just result in an extension of “the same deadlock”. Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, said Britain would need to provide a “very persuasive plan” to accompany its request for a delay to Brexit. He added: “It’s also been very clear that there is absolutely no appetite to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement or the detail of that.” 

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UK government ‘in crisis’ as Theresa May to ask EU for Brexit delay

Anti-Brexit protesters drive through Whitehall as Theresa May holds crisis talks (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit protesters drive through Whitehall as Theresa May holds crisis talks (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

The PM’s spokesman said that May would be writing to Donald Tusk ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels in relation to an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal process – AIWA! NO!

Theresa May has admitted the UK Government is “in crisis” as she prepares to write to European Council president Donald Tusk in relation to an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal process.

John Bercow provoked uproar at Westminster on Monday when he ruled that the Government could not bring the Prime Minister’s deal back for a third “meaningful vote” unless there were substantial changes.

May voiced her “absolute determination” that MPs should have another chance to vote on her Brexit deal, despite the bombshell intervention of the Commons Speaker.

May’s spokesman said the Prime Minister had made clear if her deal was voted down in the second “meaningful vote” – as happened last week – they would be “in crisis”.

He said events on Monday suggested “that situation has come to pass”.

The spokesman said that May would now be writing to European Council president Donald Tusk ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels in relation to an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal process.

Andrea Leadsom voiced fears that the Cabinet would not deliver Brexit (Image: REUTERS)
Andrea Leadsom voiced fears that the Cabinet would not deliver Brexit (Image: REUTERS)

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “What you can see from the Prime Minister and her colleagues is an absolute determination to find a way in which Parliament could vote for the UK to leave the European Union with a deal.

“The Prime Minister has been very clear throughout that she wants that to happen as soon as possible.”

Nevertheless, there was said to concern among some ministers that Brexit appeared to be slipping away.

The Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom is understood to have told the meeting: “This used to be the Cabinet that would deliver Brexit and now from what I’m hearing it’s not.”

In a further blow to May, the government’s talks with the DUP, which has 10 lawmakers in parliament, have reportedly stalled and a breakthrough is unlikely at the moment.

The Prime Minister previously said if the deal was defeated in last week’s vote there would have to be an extended delay to Brexit, with the UK staging elections to the European Parliament in May.

JOHN BERCOW: GOVERNMENT CANNOT HOLD ANOTHER MEANINGFUL VOTE UNLESS IT IS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT
JOHN BERCOW: GOVERNMENT CANNOT HOLD ANOTHER MEANINGFUL VOTE UNLESS IT IS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT

However the spokesman said: “She has said in the House of Commons that she does not want there to be a long delay and that she believes asking the British public to take part in European elections three years after they voted to leave the EU would represent a failure by politicians.”

Downing Street confirmed discussions were continuing with the Democratic Unionist Party – which props up the Government at Westminster – in an effort to build support for the deal after last week’s 149-vote defeat.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson – one of the most strident opponents of the Withdrawal Agreement – was also seen entering the Cabinet Office for talks.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “She is speaking with and having meetings with colleagues and a lot of those meetings have been focused on Brexit.”

Speaker John Bercow's ruling sparked uproar (Image: PA)
Speaker John Bercow’s ruling sparked uproar (Image: PA)

Earlier, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay acknowledged Bercow’s ruling made it “more unlikely” there would be an attempt to stage another vote before May heads to Brussels, as No 10 had hoped.

However, he insisted that May’s agreement remained “the only deal on the table”.

“What we need to do is secure the deal,” he told Sky News.

“This is the only deal on the table. The EU is clear it is the only deal on the table. Business needs the certainty of this deal and it is time that Parliament comes together and gets behind it.”

While Bercow cited previous rulings dating back to the 17th century in his Commons statement, Barclay said he had previously made clear the House should not necessarily be bound by precedent.

“What the Speaker has said in his ruling is there needs to be something that is different. You can have the same motion but where the circumstances have changed,” he said.

“So we need to look at the details of the ruling, we need to consider that in the terms of earlier rulings that don’t particularly align with yesterday’s.

“The fact a number of Members of Parliament have said that they will change their votes points to the fact that there are things that are different.”

With less than two weeks before Britain is still formally due to leave on March 29, there was exasperation among leaders of the remaining EU 27 over the continued deadlock in Westminster.

Arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth said they needed “clear and precise proposals” from the UK regarding any Article 50 extension.

“Dear friends in London, please deliver. The clock is ticking,” he said.

“It’s not just a game. It’s an extremely serious situation.”

Meanwhile, Irish premier Leo Varadkar has held talks in Dublin with Tusk ahead of the Brussels summit.

The Irish government has been adamant it will not accept changes to the Northern Ireland backstop – intended to ensure there is no return of a hard border – which remains the main stumbling block to an agreement for many MPs.

Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are?

British parliament expected to reject a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in a vote Wednesday – throwing the country in deeper political crisis

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Theresa May confirms she will vote to rule out a no-deal Brexit – AIWA! NO!

LONDON (Reuters) – The parliament will vote on Wednesday on whether to leave the European Union in 16 days without an agreement as the government said it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

British lawmakers on Tuesday handed Prime Minister Theresa May a second humiliating defeat on the Brexit plan she had agreed with the EU, plunging the country deeper into political crisis.

The turmoil leaves the world’s fifth largest economy facing a range of scenarios – it could leave without a transition deal; delay the March 29 divorce date enshrined in law; May could hold a snap election or try a third time to get her deal passed; or Britain could hold another Brexit referendum.

RELATED COVERAGE

On Wednesday, parliament is expected to reject a no-deal Brexit in a vote at 1900 GMT, although this will have no legal force. On Thursday, it will then vote on whether to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit, something to which all the bloc’s other 27 members must agree.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc would need to know why Britain wanted to extend talks and it was up to London to find a way out of the deadlock.

“If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this treaty is – and will remain – the only treaty possible,” Barnier told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Evening Standard European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier kisses Theresa May's hand as she arrives in Strasbourg

Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on her Brexit deal changes

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker

British Prime Minister Theresa May said negotiations had been ‘hard-fought’

Theresa May’s statement from Strasbourg as she talked up a string of “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal and said the Government had delivered on the demands of MPs – Crimson Tazvinzwa, AIWA! NO!

Last November, after two years of hard-fought negotiations, I agreed a Brexit deal with the EU that I passionately believe delivers on the decision taken by the British people to leave the European Union.

Over the last four months, I have made the case for that deal in Westminster and across the UK.

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I stand by what that deal achieves for my country.

It means we regain control of our laws, by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.

Regain control of our borders, by ending free movement.

Regain control of our money, by ending vast annual payments to the EU.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned MPs they will get “no third chance” to make Brexit happen after Theresa May agreed on a batch of last-minute changes to her EU deal.

The end of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy for British farmers and fishermen.

An independent trade policy.

And the deal sets us on course for a good future relationship with our friends and allies in the EU.

A close economic partnership that is good for business.

Ongoing security co-operation to keep our peoples safe.

The deal honours the referendum result and is good for both the UK and the EU.

But there was a clear concern in Parliament over one issue in particular: the Northern Ireland backstop.

Having an insurance policy to guarantee that there will never be a hard border in Northern Ireland is absolutely right – it honours the UK’s solemn commitments in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

But if we ever have to use that insurance policy, it cannot become a permanent arrangement and it is not the template for our future relationship.

The deal that MPs voted on in January was not strong enough in making that clear – and legally binding changes were needed to set that right.

Today we have agreed them.

First, a joint instrument with comparable legal weight to the Withdrawal Agreement will guarantee that the EU cannot act with the intent of applying the backstop indefinitely.

If they do, it can be challenged through arbitration and if they are found to be in breach the UK can suspend the backstop.

The joint instrument also gives a legal commitment that whatever replaces the backstop does not need to replicate it.

And it entrenches in legally-binding form the commitments made in the exchange of letters with Presidents Tusk and Juncker in January.

Second, the UK and the EU have made a joint statement in relation to the Political Declaration.

It sets out a number of commitments to enhance and expedite the process of negotiating and bringing into force the future relationship.

And it makes a legal commitment that the UK and the EU will begin work immediately to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by the end of December 2020.

There will be a specific negotiating track on alternative arrangements from the very start of the next phase of negotiations.

It will consider facilitations and technologies – both those currently ready and emerging.

The UK’s position will be informed by the three domestic groups announced last week – for technical experts, MPs, and business and trade unions.

Third, alongside the joint instrument on the Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom Government will make a Unilateral Declaration that if the backstop comes into use and discussions on our future relationship break down so that there is no prospect of subsequent agreement, it is the position of the United Kingdom that there would be nothing to prevent the UK instigating measures that would ultimately dis-apply the backstop.

Unilateral Declarations are commonly used by states alongside the ratification of treaties.

The Attorney General will set out in legal analysis the meaning of the joint instrument and unilateral declaration to Parliament.

Tomorrow the House of Commons will debate the improved deal that these legal changes have created.

I will speak in more detail about them when I open that debate.

MPs were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop.

Today we have secured legal changes.

Now is the time to come together, to back this improved Brexit deal, and to deliver on the instruction of the British people.

https://aiwa.press/2019/02/28/britains-labour-party-leader-backs-brexit-referendum/

Britain’s Labour Party leader backs Brexit referendum

Breitbart
Corbyn's UK Labour Backs Second Brexit Referendum. BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn High Fives Shadow First Secretary
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party will back a new referendum on Brexit after parliament defeated its alternative plan for leaving the European Union, its eurosceptic leader Jeremy Corbyn said, softening his reservations about a second popular vote. REUTERS

If the UK government can bring Brexit deal back for a vote before March 12 it will do so: minister – AIWA! NO!

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party will back a new referendum on Brexit after parliament defeated its alternative plan for leaving the European Union, its eurosceptic leader Jeremy Corbyn said, softening his reservations about a second popular vote.

With 29 days left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, the leaders of Britain’s two main parties have been forced into making key turns on the divorce in recent days.

Image result for labour backs second referendum: The Times
Labour politicians gather to express their support for a second Brexit referendum
The TimesLabour politicians gather to express their support for a second Brexit referendum

After months of saying that Britain must leave the EU on time on March 29, May opened up the possibility on Tuesday of a short limited extension to the exit date.

Corbyn, who voted against membership in 1975 and gave only reluctant backing to the 2016 campaign to stay, on Wednesday gave ambiguous backing for another referendum, saying he would push for one alongside a national election.

It is the first time since Britons voted in 2016 to leave the EU that one of its two major political parties has thrown its weight behind giving voters a chance to change their minds. It was unclear what the exact question might be.

“After tonight’s votes in parliament, we’ll continue to push for a close economic relationship based on our credible alternative plan or a general election,” Corbyn said.

Britain's Labour Party leader backs Brexit referendum
Britain’s Labour Party leader backs Brexit referendum

“We’ll also back a public vote in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or disastrous no deal.”

John McDonnell, the second most powerful man in the Labour Party, said it would put down an amendment calling for a second referendum as soon as May brought a deal back to parliament.

Britain’s Brexit minister, Steve Barclay, said there was no consensus in parliament for another referendum or even on what question might be asked.

After May’s deal was rejected on Jan. 15 in the biggest parliamentary defeat in modern British history, she is hoping to bring back a tweaked divorce accord for a vote, which could come as early as next week but may not take place until March 12.

BREXIT MAZE

If her deal is voted down, May has promised that lawmakers will get a chance to vote the day after on whether to leave with no deal and then on March 14 to vote on asking the EU to delay the deadline.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the EU would agree to extend the Brexit deadline beyond March 29 only if Britain justified such a request with a clear objective.

Lawmakers on Wednesday voted 502-20 in support of an amendment proposed by opposition Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper that spelled out May’s proposed timetable.