Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Brexit 'paralysis' means we might stay in the European Union after all

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is delighted by the release of Matthew Hedges but wants Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe reunited with her family Image Jeremy Hunt said MPs would 'try very hard to rule out' a no-deal Brexit
Jeannette Daniel | 13 January, 2019, 10:57

Writing in today's Sunday Express, the Prime Minister begged the Commons to back her deal arguing not doing so would be "catastrophic".

Mrs May said: "When you turned out to vote in the referendum, you did so because you wanted your voice to be heard".

MPs are expected to vote down the deal, paving the way for further uncertainty over the process of leaving the EU. As the protectors of our democracy, we simply can not allow this to happen.

To help her get the deal through, "We are checking with Downing Street what the clarifications could amount to", he said, adding: "They should not be confused with a renegotiation".

The Sunday Times says that the plan by backbenchers would see the government lose control of parliamentary business.

More news: Chelsea consider Willian sale, but not Hudson-Odoi

On Monday the debate on the meaningful vote on Mrs May's deal will resume for a fourth day.

He said if it is defeated, Britain should continue to press the European Union for a deal that "respects the referendum but if Brussels' "intransigence" persists "we must be willing to leave the European Union at the end of March on World Trade Organisation terms".

The vote had been scheduled to take place in December but was called off at the last minute by the prime minister, who was facing nearly certain defeat. May postponed a vote on the agreement in December to avoid a resounding defeat, and there are few signs that the deal has picked up support since then. Many lawmakers who back leaving the European Union say it leaves the United Kingdom tethered to the bloc's rules and unable to forge an independent trade policy, while pro-Europeans argue it is inferior to the frictionless economic relationship Britain now enjoys as an European Union member. This week, lawmakers passed an amendment forcing the government to come back to Parliament with a new plan within three working days of the deal being rejected.

More than 100 Conservatives and 10 DUP MPs are among those set to oppose the government's deal on Tuesday.

But many MPs also object to the no deal Brexit, calling for either Article 50 to be extended or revoked, or a second referendum to allow the general public to decide the next move. But many also dislike May's agreement, which has displeased both sides of Britain's Brexit divide.

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