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Nicola Sturgeon calls for Theresa May to rule out no deal Brexit

14 February, 2019, 06:43 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Andrew Wilson and Nicola Sturgeon

The UK is now due to leave the European Union on 29 March, whether or not a deal has been approved by the Commons.

Stephen Barclay was responding to reported comments made by the Prime Minister's chief negotiator Olly Robbins.

She'll say that if she hasn't brought them new deal by February 27, there will then be another opportunity to vote, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire confirmed in an interview. "If the PM decides we are leaving on March 29, deal or no deal, that will happen", he said.

The Scottish government has stepped up its preparations for a no-deal Brexit as it again called on Theresa May to rule out the possibility.

The delayed vote means that May's government will have very little time to pass the legislation required to ratify the deal, meaning that a short extension of the Article 50 process is now likely.

The leader of the opposition wrote a letter to the Prime Minister last week setting out the demands she would need to meet in order command the support of Labour MPs for her deal.

Ever since, the premier has been trying to secure changes to the accord that would satisfy parliament's lower House of Commons.

"We want to leave with a deal, and that's what we're working for".

The United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal unless May can persuade the bloc to amend the divorce deal she agreed past year and get it approved by British lawmakers.

"I urge all members across this House to think about the damage the Prime Minister's strategy is doing - the threat to industry and skilled jobs in communities across Britain", he said.

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Thursday's vote is not binding on the government, but defeat would be a blow to her efforts to convince Brussels that she could secure a Commons majority for a revised agreement over the terms of Britain's departure.

He said German exports to the United Kingdom had fallen by about 10 per cent in real terms since the 2016 referendum and predicted German GDP could be 0.2 to 0.5 per cent lower in the long term because of Brexit.

European Union leaders have turned down May's plea to renegotiate parts of the legally binding Brexit withdrawal bill, making the no-deal outcome more likely even though both sides believe it would harm their economies.

Other MPs supporting the move include the senior Labour MP Hilary Benn, Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve and the Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb.

There has been concern among Conservative Brexiteers that the Prime Minister could concede too much ground to Labour in an attempt to win cross-party backing for a deal with Brussels.

The statement was allegedly overheard by ITV news correspondent Angus Walker as Robbins spoke to colleagues at a hotel bar in Brussels on Monday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's negotiating team continue to insist that the EU will not reopen the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with May last November.

Following meetings with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel she told reporters: "We feel obligated to do everything for a deal, but it certainly it has to be a fair deal. and there we unfortunately still have a bit of work ahead of us".

But the PM's official spokesman pointed out that by the time the 21-day period to consider the Brexit treaty kicked in, MPs would already have passed judgment on it in the "meaningful vote" and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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