Deal or no deal, United Kingdom parliament will debate Brexit next steps - minister

Dec 17, 2018, 19:32
Deal or no deal, United Kingdom parliament will debate Brexit next steps - minister

Blair has said it is perverse that Britain and the European Union are preparing for a potentially economically damaging Brexit without any deal, but not another referendum.

"If I were her, I wouldn't be pleased with this at all", Francois said.

Solicitor-General Robert Buckland said May told lawmakers at a meeting that "it is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election".

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally that reflected the discontent within the party over her handling of Britain's exit from the European Union.

But when May brought the hard-fought compromise back to Britain she ran into renewed opposition from hardline Brexiteers on her own backbenches and balked at putting it to parliament. At least 189 indicated public support for her and one bookmaker had the odds she would win at 89 percent.

May said she believed there was "a majority in parliament who want to follow through on the referendum and leave with a negotiated deal" but cautioned that an accidental no deal was possible.

Her victory on Wednesday means Conservative Party members can not try to oust May as their standard-bearer in the next year.

In the intervening hours those leaders had expressed frustration with May's "nebulous" strategy to get the withdrawal treaty past the House of Commons and insisted yet again that they will not renegotiate the text.

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If the agreement is still found wanting not only would Britain and its main trading partners face economic chaos, but May could be finished off by a parliamentary vote of no confidence.

"The size of the vote does matter", said polling expert John Curtice.

Brexit is Britain's most significant political and economic decision since World War Two, though pro-Europeans fear it will weaken the West as it grapples with the presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

In Britain's biggest decision for decades, Brexit has split the nation and will shape the future of its $2.8 trillion economy.

The British pound rose to 1.2652 against the U.S. dollar.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who holds the rotating European Union presidency, suggested there could be a special Brexit summit in January to agree "additional assurances".

Blair, who was Labour prime minister from 1997 to 2007, also said an offer by the European Union to reform would show "that the political leadership of Europe and Britain had listened to the underlying concerns of those who voted [for] Brexit, not disrespecting the concerns but meeting them in a way which is not damaging".

The EU-27 adopted a political statement on Thursday evening to say the EU does not want to trap the United Kingdom in a so-called "backstop" - a plan to keep the United Kingdom in the EU customs union until they find a way to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

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"For as long as we fail to agree a deal, the risk of an accidental no deal increases", May told MPs.

Keir Starmer, chief Brexit spokesman for the Labour Party, said in media interviews Friday it was clear the Prime Minister would not secure any meaningful changes to her deal and that she should face the music and put her deal to a vote next week.

"Theresa May's plan would bring down the government if carried forward", lawmakers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker said in a statement.

Mr Hunt served as health secretary under successive Conservative governments, during which time he was heavily criticised by NHS workers and faced strikes by junior doctors. "None of that would be in the national interest".

May's predecessor Cameron bet all on the referendum he lost in 2016. All those options have supporters in Parliament, but it's not clear whether there's a majority for any of them. "The idea of a sell-by date won't stand", one said.

Ousted British prime ministers tend to stay on in their role for the period required to have a new prime minister chosen by the party and approved by the Queen.

But pro-Brexit British politicians hate the backstop, because Britain can't get out of it unilaterally; it can only be ended by mutual agreement.

The EU's top court ruled on Monday that Britain could cancel its Article 50 notice to leave without permission from other members and without losing privileges.

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