Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Brexit: DUP says issues remain over deal

Brexit: DUP says issues remain over deal

Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to win over MPs, who have so far voted against her Brexit deal with the threat that the only other option is a long delay to leaving the EU.

Mrs May is expected to bring her withdrawal agreement back to the Commons next week for a third vote.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, questioned why the E.U. should grant an extension if the British government is "not ready for a cross-party approach to break the current deadlock?"

We also saw MPs rule out having a second referendum, though this was largely because the People's Vote campaign actually asked MPs not to agree to one right now, thinking that it may be better to do so later on.

He hinted that the pair were both against a no-deal Brexit, but did not discuss details.

On Thursday, MPs voted to ask European Union leaders to simply push Brexit back in a bid to head off a hugely disruptive end to their partnership.

Unless May can get a Brexit deal approved by the British parliament, then she will have to decide whether to delay or cancel Brexit or thrust the world's fifth largest economy into chaos by leaving without a deal.

Hard Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted: "A second referendum, the so called "losers" vote', has now been defeated in the House of Commons so is it is off the table".

And North Wiltshire MP James Gray appealed to fellow members of the Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) to get the "obnoxious" deal over the line because it was "the only way we can achieve anything which even vaguely resembles the Brexit that 17.4 million people voted for".

And senior government sources said they are hopeful that 20 to 30 Labour MPs will back it if it looks like winning. If her deal falls again, and there is no attempt at a fourth vote, there might be a longer extension, possibly until at least December 2020, which is when the planned transition period, had a withdrawal been agreed, was planned to end.

But the deal has remained deadlocked in parliament, chiefly by disagreement over the so-called Irish "backstop" - a measure to avoid barriers at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The EU will terminate Britain's membership of the bloc on 1 July if the country does not take part in the European elections scheduled for 23-26 May, according to a document seen by the Financial Times.

The draft paper obtained by the Financial Times said Britain has to take part in the May 23-26 votes if it wants an extension of more than three months. May says backstop is only an insurance and the current deal is the best the United Kingdom could get from the EU.

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