May's team says Brexit vote will go ahead on Dec 11

07 December, 2018, 13:44 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May during a debate on the Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons in London on Dec 4 2018

"I think members on both sides know she has worked phenomenally hard to try to secure the best agreement", he said.

The alternative, according to the deal struck between May and the European Union, would be to extend the transition period for up to two years, during which time Britain would largely enjoy the same relationship with the bloc, despite officially leaving on March 29, 2019.

If Parliament votes against the deal, the risk of a chaotic and costly "no deal" after Brexit next March will rise significantly - and if it can not be quickly renegotiated in Brussels, the United Kingdom may face a snap election or a new Brexit referendum.

"If it can't, then I certainly would welcome the vote being deferred until such time as we can answer that question".

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, of the opposition Labour Party, tweeted: "Having reviewed the Attorney General's legal advice, it's obvious why this needed to be placed in the public domain".

If parliament rejects her deal, May has warned Britain could leave without a deal or that there could be no Brexit at all.

May's chances of survival were dealt a blow on Tuesday when her government suffered a humbling hat-trick of defeats in the Commons over Brexit legal advice.

The prime minister's DUP allies - along with Tory MPs Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone - joined opposition parties in the unprecedented move.

Ministers are expected to set out today how this will be done. But the defeat demonstrated the fragility of May's government, which does not have a majority in Parliament.

Mrs May is sending 30 of her top ministers out and about around the country today in a desperate bid to get MPs to back her deal next week.

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In his advice, dated 13 November, Mr Cox says signing up to the backstop was a "political decision".

"We hope that prime minister May gets the negotiated deal through Westminster because it is the best and only deal available", said one diplomat.

The amendment would add provisions for the Commons to "approve the Government's proposed approach, including whether or not an extension to the implementation period should be pursued; and parliamentary approval of the commencement of the powers implementing the Northern Ireland backstop".

The group's chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg, who had held talks with Mr Dodds earlier in the day, told the private meeting: "The DUP will support the Government in a confidence motion if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down".

"The prime minister can't keep pushing Parliament away or avoiding responsible scrutiny".

Brown, who backs calls for a second Brexit referendum, said: "Now is not the time to be detached from Europe". The House of Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, also told Parliament the vote would go ahead on December 11.

Meanwhile The Daily Telegraph reported that Brussels could be prepared to discuss extending Article 50 - delaying Brexit until after March 29 2019 - if the deal is rejected by MPs. In the other famous disclosure of advice to the government over the Iraq War disclosed in 2005, though Lord Goldsmith was the attorney general at the time, it was the now-former LSE law professor and global law expert Christopher Greenwood QC who actually wrote the advice.

Under the plans, European Union nationals already in the country will still be able to apply for settled status meaning they will enjoy similar rights to those they have today in a no deal.

May said she was speaking to lawmakers about giving parliament a bigger role in whether to trigger a so-called Northern Irish backstop arrangement or extend a transition period during which more European Union membership terms would apply.

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