Friday, 23 August, 2019

Don't hijack Brexit, minister warns Britain's parliament

Tory MP Nick Boles is proposing a Bill to delay Brexit Tory MP Nick Boles is proposing a Bill to delay Brexit Credit Clara Molden Clara Molden
Pablo Mccormick | 21 January, 2019, 14:25

The warning came after a former Brexit secretary admitted No Deal would come with risks but called on Theresa May to rule out extending Article 50.

Amid the deadlock, the Sunday Times reports details on how lawmakers are working to take control of the agenda from Mrs May.

"Her mind is closed", he said. An election the following year - called to cement the power of Ms May's Conservatives - saw them lose their majority in Parliament, leaving her atop a fragile minority administration that struggles to pass legislation.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves church, near High Wycombe, Britain, January 20, 2019.

Britain's parliament has no right to try to "hijack the Brexit process", Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, after several lawmakers indicated they were launching attempts to take more control over the departure from the European Union.

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"This news should serve as a reminder to those MPs who want to deliver Brexit that they need to vote for it - otherwise there is a danger that Parliament could stop Brexit".

"If the prime minister is serious about finding a solution that can command support in parliament and bring our country together, she must listen to the majority of MPs (lawmakers), as well as members of her own cabinet, and take "no deal" off the table".

May met some pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers and insisted she is not considering a second referendum, or allowing the U.K.to stay in the customs union, people familiar with the matter said.

However the Irish edition of the same newspaper quoted a senior Irish government source as saying the bilateral treaty proposal was "not something we would entertain", and a second senior political source as saying it would not work with the European Commission.

But various reports suggest May will eschew efforts to reach an agreement with Labour on a "softer" Brexit compromise, and instead back new diplomatic efforts in Brussels to renegotiate the "backstop" - a device to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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Corbyn has said he will enter into talks with May only if the prime minister rules out a so-called no-deal Brexit, a scenario in which Britain leaves without an agreement and one that some businesses say would be disastrous for the economy.

Concern over the Irish border backstop resulted in a delay of a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal, initially scheduled for 11 December.

The future of the Brexit agreement is now unclear and a no-deal scenario, which implies a United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union without formal arrangements for the post-Brexit relationship between the two sides, remains highly possible.

However, Mr Corbyn remains steadfastly opposed to backing a second vote, despite a recent YouGov poll of the party's members showing some 86 per cent backed a second vote, with 93 per cent saying they would vote to remain in the European Union if they had the chance.

Worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that "failure to deliver Brexit would produce a yawning gap between Parliament and the people, a schism in our political system with unknowable consequences". In a letter to the PM, Corbyn called May's talks with MPs little more than an exercise to play for time.

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The Prime Minister summoned Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt, David Lidington, Chris Grayling and others to Downing Street in her attempt to thrash out a new Brexit plan following the overwhelming Commons rejection of her Withdrawal Agreement earlier this week. "It is a matter of honour and a matter of duty".

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