Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

Riven by Crisis, Britain Searches for Brexit Emergency ‘Plan B’

Riven by Crisis, Britain Searches for Brexit Emergency ‘Plan B’

Corbyn has refused to join those talks until the prime minister promises to take a "no deal" Brexit off the table; as is, if Parliament fails to approve an agreement by March 29, Britain will crash out of the European Union, a development likely to sow chaos throughout the island's economy. A small number favour a second referendum.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn responded with the no-confidence motion, and urged the government to "do the right thing and resign".

Despite the objection to Corbyn's request, May concluded with an appeal to her rival's judgement, saying her door remained open to a meeting.

With Parliament deadlocked, some observers say a second referendum is needed to allow the people to vote on the deal and additional options.

Jeremy Corbyn was in Hastings on Thursday to give a speech about Brexit and the Labour Party's plans for the future.

But the chairman of May's Conservative party, Brandon Lewis, said on Thursday that Britain should not stay in the current customs union because striking worldwide trade deals after Brexit is a priority.

A demonstrator supporting British Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn stands outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, on January 16, 2019.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was time for talks as long as London could present a clear and united position.

But they are bitterly divided over the most important question facing her government: On Tuesday, more than 100 Tory MPs voted against May's Brexit agreement.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair said on Thursday a delay to Brexit was now inevitable, adding that leaving the European Union without a deal would inflict profound economic damage on the UK.

Representing Dutch farmers and agricultural producers who export goods worth more than €8 billion ($9 billion) a year, LTO Nederland said unhindered trade was crucial and called on the Dutch government to offer practical solutions.

Companies warned of catastrophic job losses and chaos at ports if there was no deal.

In shunning the Davos meeting, which she attended previous year, May follows in the wake of Emmanuel Macron, under heavy domestic pressure driven by gilets jaunes protests, and Donald Trump, who cancelled his visit due to an ongoing government shutdown in Washington.

At Ford Motor Co., Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said Wednesday: "Ford continues to view a no-deal exit as the least likely outcome given how damaging it would be, but we recognize the situation is highly uncertain after yesterday's vote".

"It is my view that if you are able to confirm the extension of Article 50, a ruling out of a no deal Brexit and the option of a second European Union referendum would form the basis of those discussions, then we could participate in them", he wrote.

The prime minister is working to the tightest-possible deadline as Britain prepares to leave the bloc that for half a century defined its economic and political relations with the rest of the world.

"We respect the British will and respect the red lines, as we respect the principle of the single market and the indivisibility of the four freedoms", he said.

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