Messy no-deal Brexit 'looks likely — European Union negotiator


Messy no-deal Brexit 'looks likely — European Union negotiator

"The British Parliament once again voted against all options".

Almost three years since Britons voted to leave the European Union in a shock referendum result, May's exit strategy is up in the air as her government and party are still squabbling over how, when, or even if Brexit should happen.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would be "very happy" to meet Prime Minister Theresa May after she suggested the two should sit down to agree on a new plan to ensure a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

Monday's result left May's Conservative government facing hard and risky choices. It can gamble on a fourth attempt to push the deal through Parliament, let Britain tumble out of the bloc without a deal, or roll the dice by seeking a snap election to shake up Parliament.

But European leaders have warned they will not delay Brexit indefinitely.

And she indicated that in determining the future relationship between Britain and the European Union, she might be willing to countenance the softer-style Brexit that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he supports.

"This House has continuously rejected leaving without a deal just as it has rejected not leaving at all", Barclay said.

"If the government won't act urgently then Parliament has a responsibility to try to ensure that happens, even though we are right up against the deadline".

May was embarking on a marathon session with her Cabinet on Tuesday to try and find a way to avert a no-deal exit from the Union.

Then, she said, the government would put them before the House of Commons in a series of votes.

In the most recent set of votes on Monday, a proposal to keep the United Kingdom in a customs union common tariff zone with the EU came closest, losing by just six votes.

Parliament on Monday rejected four alternatives, with proposals for a customs union failing by three votes.

Germany and France called for more clarity from London, warning that without a clear sense of what Britain wanted it could be heading towards a disorderly Brexit within days.

May had already ruled out all the ideas under consideration.

After nearly two years of negotiations, Britain and the European Union struck a divorce deal in November, laying out the terms of the departure from the bloc and giving a rough outline of future relations.

A journalist in Downing Street watches UK Prime Minister Theresa May's latest statement.

Motion D (Common market 2.0) was defeated by 282 votes to 261, majority 21, with Motion E (second referendum) rejected by 292 votes to 280, majority 12.

Other options were the most damaging no-deal Brexit, or a long delay of the UK's leaving date, Barnier said, adding the factious United Kingdom parliament would hold the responsibility for these.

Automaker Ford also sounded the alarm bells, saying it would have to consider what actions to take to protect its business in the event of a no-deal Brexit. But the Conservatives are anxious that could hand power to the opposition Labour Party.

A police officer separates pro and anti-Brexit supporters protesting outside the Houses of Parliament in London, April 1, 2019. "They had been very keen for the government to commit to a no-deal if they failed to pass her deal", he said.

But Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said it would be better than a soft Brexit.

She said the current divorce deal could not be changed but promised to renegotiate a political deal on what the future trade deal might look like.

The Brexit impasse has alarmed businesses, who say the uncertainty has deterred investment and undermined economic growth.

"This is a deeply unsatisfactory approach, it is not in the interests of the country, it fails to deliver on the referendum result and history doesn't bode well for it", Jacob Rees-Mogg, a prominent Brexiteer, told reporters following a meeting of the party's hardline eurosceptic parliamentary group.

The DUP has called the prime minister's handling of the overall Brexit negotiations "lamentable".

"A sphinx is an open book in direct comparison with the British Parliament", he told the Saarland state legislature in Saarbruecken, Germany. "Enough of the long silence".

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