Friday, 22 March, 2019

European Union leaders urge clarity from Britain before Brexit delay

UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit but rejects second referendum How did YOUR MP vote in crucial Brexit decisions?
Jeannette Daniel | 16 March, 2019, 18:44

"Despite the increased risks facing rebel Conservative MPs, we doubt that sufficient numbers will fall back into line to pass her deal given entrenched hard line opposition", MUFG analysts wrote on Friday.

"We've always said in Ireland, if the United Kingdom asks for more time, for one to prevent no deal, a crash-out Brexit happening, but secondly to implement a clear plan and strategy to reflect on and perhaps change direction in regard to Brexit, well then Ireland certainly wouldn't be an obstacle to that", Coveney told a conference.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, questioned why the E.U. should grant an extension if the British government is "not ready for a cross-party approach to break the current deadlock?"

May will attend the EU Council summit where she will ask for Article 50, the two-year withdrawal process, to be extended.

A senior European Union official is floating the possibility of a two-step delay to Britain's departure from the bloc, now scheduled for March 29.

German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said Britain must use any extra time productively.

The vote against a no-deal Brexit was non-binding but investors believe Britain will now avert a disorderly European Union exit that would severely damage its economy.

Mrs May has put forward two deals to Parliament, both of which have been rejected in an overwhelming majority.

More news: Cabinet revolt over no-deal Brexit vote

Because of the deep divisions in Tory ranks on the issue of extending Article 50, Mrs May granted a free vote to her MPs.

May planned to spend the next few days trying to persuade opponents in her Conservative Party and its parliamentary allies to support the withdrawal agreement, which Parliament has resoundingly defeated twice. "I have a role in the European Parliament", Farage said.

The Brexit deadline is legally binding and can not be extended without the agreement of all other 27 European Union countries.

Britain's love-hate relationship with the rest of Europe goes back decades, but the Brexit crisis gripping it today stems from dramatic January 2013 speech by Prime Minister David Cameron in which he promised an "in or out" referendum.

Philip Hammond's meeting with senior DUP figures raised speculation that more investment could be targeted at Northern Ireland, in addition to the £1 billion agreed when a confidence and supply agreement was signed in 2017.

"If it is triggered, it would be temporary, until a better solution is found".

"Reasonable grounds for this (extension), would be to try to get these technical developments to make the backstop superfluous", Seif added, stressing that Britain would have to say what it wanted from an extension for it to be granted.

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