Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Brexit: MPs to debate next steps

Brexit: MPs to debate next steps

In parliament on Wednesday, May sought to play down the significance of those comments when asked about them by one of her lawmakers, saying her government's strategy of leaving with a deal on March 29 had not changed.

But her chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was overheard by an ITV correspondent at a hotel bar in Brussels saying lawmakers would have to choose whether to accept a reworked Brexit deal or a potentially significant delay.

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.

But members of the backbench European Research Group say that it effectively endorses another amendment approved by MPs the same day, which rules out no-deal but is not binding on the Government.

"We shouldn't be put in a position where the clock is run down and the prime minister says it's either my deal or even worse".

May also hinted that a provision in the UK's Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, which dictates that global treaties must sit for 21 days of parliamentary sittings before they can be ratified, would be waived to give her government more time to broker an acceptable deal with the EU.

"What are these negotiations at a "crucial state" raised in the House of Commons?"

"I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of the drafting of the letter", he said.

"They have obviously elections for the parliament and a commission that will be formed at the end of May, so there is no desire on the European side to see what one described to me as an "extension in darkness", where there is no clarity as to why we are extending".

But Labour pledged to oppose the move, accusing the Government of showing "contempt for our democracy".

May said that if she had not yet reached a deal in Brussels, she would deliver another progress report on February 26 and provide another chance for parliament to express its opinion on her approach the following day.

Addressing the House of Commons a fortnight after MPs voted for her to go back to Brussels and replace the controversial Irish border backstop, Mrs May acknowledged that she would need "some time" to hold talks with the EU.

It is also backed by Tory MP Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour's Jack Dromey, who last month tabled a non-binding amendment opposing a no-Brexit which did win Commons support. March, leave. The agreement on the modalities of the withdrawal, the May with the European Union, which had already been negotiated fell through in mid-January in the British Parliament. A similar promise at the end of January thwarted a cross-party attempt to take over the timetable, led by Labour's Yvette Cooper and Conservative Nick Boles.

During another fractious debate in the House of Commons, the prime minister made no new concessions on policy other than to stretch the deadline for agreeing a deal until the brink of the UK's formal exit from the bloc, due on 29 March.

With 45 days to go however, Mr Grieve warned time was running perilously short under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act which requires 21 sitting days before the ratification of any global treaty.

"(It) is to make sure that parliamentarians have had ample opportunity to look at the deal she's putting forward before it comes to that meaningful vote".

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