Friday, 19 April, 2019

Brexit briefing: Brexit alternatives rejected in Commons

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the House of Commons in London Britain 27 March 2019 British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the House of Commons in London Britain 27 March 2019
Priscilla Morrison | 10 April, 2019, 01:27

According to the UK's Revenue and Customs authority, there will be a 13-billion-pound (about 17 billion USA dollars) annual increase in costs for British firms to fulfill customs declarations duties when exporting to the EU.

After failing repeatedly to win Parliament's backing for her Brexit blueprint, May said the country needed "national unity to deliver the national interest".

Carney claimed that a no-deal Brexit is a "possibility, and it is the default option", despite that the European Union, British government and Parliament are all against no-deal.

The political chaos forced May to ask the European Union to postpone Britain's exit from the original date of March 29, but she is resisting delaying much longer.

"As things stand now, the no-deal option looks likely".

The party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, told Peston that Labour members would "find it unforgiveable" for "us to sign off on Theresa May's deal without a concession that involves the people".

Oliver Letwin, the Conservative lawmaker behind the process of votes, has previously said that if parliament succeeded in finding a majority for a way forward, he hoped the government would accept that outcome but if it did not, then lawmakers would bring forward legislation seeking to force it to do so.

Earlier, British MPs failed to reach a majority in an indicative vote on four alternative Brexit options selected by Speaker John Bercow from nine proposals put forward by the parliament.

May's cabinet - deeply divided between hardcore Brexiteers who now favour a no-deal, and more pragmatic ex-Remainers who want May's deal, or some other form of soft Brexit - is to meet for a five-hour session on Tuesday.

Barnier insisted the European Union would not renegotiate the 585-page withdrawal agreement but said he was willing to open up the political declaration that came with the legal text.

"She reiterated where she is at at the present time".

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Options to keep the United Kingdom in the EU Customs Union alone or along with the Single Market and a customs arrangement were both narrowly rejected.

Anand Menon, professor of European politics at King's College London, told AFP that Tuesday's cabinet meeting would be "relatively upbeat".

"I think people will feel very short-changed", said former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a prominent pro-Brexit voice in Parliament.

The final option, which would have instructed government to revoke the legislation to leave the European Union a day before Britain is due to crash out, was rejected by 292 to 191.

Amid all the uncertainty, analysts have said the economic impact in Britain could be massive.

Edwin Morgan, interim director general of business group the Institute of Directors, said May's statement was "a welcome step towards compromise", though there remained obstacles ahead.

None of the eight alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May's plan considered last week won a majority. "Both sides must play ball".

The Prime Minister says she is prepared to hold talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to try and break the political deadlock over Brexit.

The EU would have to agree to any further delay to the Article 50 negotiating period, and have said Britain would need to give a reason for the delay.

"The Prime Minister has a responsibility to prevent that happening".

Varadkar stressed "there's still time" for May to come to the April 10 summit with "credible" proposals.

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