Irish drivers warned to get paperwork for no-deal Brexit

Mar 02, 2019, 00:53
Irish drivers warned to get paperwork for no-deal Brexit

Unable to get her deal for a smooth withdrawal through a British parliament torn between those wanting looser ties to the European Union and those who want to remain, Prime Minister Theresa May this week conceded that members of parliament could oblige her to ask Brussels to let Britain stay beyond a negotiating deadline of 29 March.

Elsewhere, MPs defeated by 323 to 240 an amendment from main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for a new customs union with the EU and close alignment with the bloc's single market. The EU has refused to reopen the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, but there is talk of a special codicil.

That's now seen as a possibility, particularly as the Conservatives' most hardened pro-Brexit members appear to be softening their stance.

They supported Theresa May's new partnership for Brexit, but a number of concessions were made.

However, she has said she remains focused on leaving on that date.

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Faced with the threat of Cabinet and ministerial resignations, the prime minister conceded Tuesday that she will seek a short delay to Britain's March 29 exit date - if her deal can not be passed by March 12, and if Parliament rejects the option of leaving without a deal (which it certainly would) and then votes for a delay.

In a rare moment of unity, MPs moved on Wednesday to protect the rights of 3.6 million Europeans living in Britain and one million Britons in the EU in case of a "no deal".

Mr Eustice, who was minister for agriculture, fisheries and food, wrote: "It is with tremendous sadness that I have chose to resign from the government following the decision this week to allow the postponement of our exit from the European Union". It won't contradict the deal but will aim to allow British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to change his legal advice, which previously said that the United Kingdom could be trapped permanently in the "backstop" arrangement that prevents a hard Irish border.

"Today, above all, we need a decision", Barnier said at a press conference in Vienna.

"Rather than have Theresa May dictate a disastrous deal to us, I would much rather let the people of our country have the final say".

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Any delay must be approved by the other 27 European Union member states, and the bloc's leaders have agreed to look at any request from Britain.

On Wednesday, the Conservative government agreed that May will seek a joint U.K. -EU commitment on citizens' rights, whether or not the Brexit deal is approved.

However, EU diplomats say that a suggestion to let Britain remain a full EU member until even, say, the end of next year - which was due to be a status-quo transition period - may be as much meant to spook hardline, pro-Brexit MPs into accepting May's deal for fear of ending up stuck inside the EU.

The Labour Party's motion for the United Kingdom to remain part of an EU customs union was defeated by 323 votes to 240 during the session on Wednesday, leading to party leader confirming previously announced plans to push for a public vote on the government's Brexit proposals.

"Parliament has decisively rejected the deal she eventually brought to a vote, and now the government are clearly trying to run down the clock in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her bad deal or No Deal".

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