Economy

The UK may have 'no option' but to delay Brexit — Liam Fox

The UK may have 'no option' but to delay Brexit — Liam Fox”

British lawmakers in January overwhelmingly rejected Mrs May's deal with the European Union, with many unhappy with the "Irish backstop", an insurance measure to prevent the return of hard border controls between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

May insisted Wednesday that Britain will leave the European Union on schedule next month, amid signs that her promise to give Parliament a vote on delaying Brexit was boosting support for her unpopular EU divorce deal.

The Sunday Times said a group including former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and Nigel Dodds, the deputy leader of the Northern Irish party which props up May's minority government, had drawn up the tests by which they would assess any changes.

"The second part is the language".

"I think you'll get to another referendum when people understand that a hard Brexit is going to be deeply economically painful for the country and a soft Brexit means we just become a rule-taker. The third requirement is a clear exit route".

But the Labour leadership see this as a "bribe" to tempt some of their own MPs to break ranks and back Mrs May's deal.

"While there has been much talk about delays and extensions of the withdrawal date, the political machinations at Westminster have completely ignored the views, needs, fears and desires of the people here in Ireland, in particular those living in the border region who will be so adversely affected by Brexit".

Asked by the BBC if he would be breaking a promise that the United Kingdom will leave at the end of March, he said: "I hope we will be leaving at the end of March.but if we have no option in order to deliver a smooth Brexit then so be it".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will meet Britain's negotiating team on Tuesday, an EU spokesman said, as both sides seek a breakthrough in the thorny Irish border issue.

"Labour pledged in 2017 that we will establish a network of regional development banks that will be dedicated to delivering the finance that our small businesses co-operatives and innovative projects need across the whole country".

The UK is now due to leave the European Union on 29 March by default with or without a deal.

The EU is said to be refusing to countenance Cox's suggestion that backstop arbitration should be overseen by an "independent" body outside the jurisdiction of its own Court of Justice, however, making it hard to see how any tweaks to the mechanism now laid out could be anything but cosmetic.

Opposition Labour lawmaker Caroline Flint said she believed as many as 30 lawmakers from her party would support May's revised deal if they are allowed to vote the way they want rather than being ordered to vote against it by their party.

"If Mrs May was trying to bribe Labour MPs then she's failed miserably", Ms Smeeth told Sky News.



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