May urges United Kingdom lawmakers: Give me more time to get Brexit deal

Frederick Owens
February 11, 2019

In an interview with the Sunday Times Mr Starmer described Mrs May's approach as "reckless" and "blinkered" and blamed her "tunnel vision" for the devastating defeat suffered last month when MPs threw out her Brexit deal by a record 230 votes.

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March.

Her meetings in Brussels on Thursday made no breakthrough and fears of a "no-deal" scenario that gridlocks trade are running high.

Housing minister James Brokenshire said on Sunday May would commit to giving parliament another debate on Brexit with the chance to vote on alternative options, if a deal had not yet been agreed and voted upon by then. "That gives that sense of timetable, clarity and objective on what we're doing". He pledged to give parliament a fresh vote on Britain's options by February 27 if May does not come back with new concessions before then.

The PM has promised another "meaningful vote" in the coming weeks, but Labour is determined to reduce her wriggle room.

It comes after the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has written to the Prime Minister setting out his demands for a Brexit deal he could support, accused Mrs May of an "utterly cynical" approach.

Previous year the government said it wanted to replicate the EU's trade agreements "as far as possible". Foremost was a demand that May seek a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union".

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Labour's Brexit policy chief Keir Starmer told the Sunday Times newspaper that his party would seek to use the debate in parliament this week to prevent May from waiting until the last minute to come back with a deal, and compel her to present a fresh accord for lawmakers to consider before February 26.

May will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker again before the end of February "to take stock" of talks. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is set to head to Brussels on Monday for talks.

The sides are stuck on the issue of how to keep the Irish border open after Britain leaves.

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay will meet European Union negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday to discuss changes to the part of the exit deal relating to the "backstop", an insurance policy against the return of a hard border between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

May's Northern Irish coalition party also argue that it will splinter their province from mainland Britain.

May has been trying to win a legal assurance giving Britain the right eventually to drop the backstop and negotiate its own trade deals.

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