Brexit: German leaders urge Britain to stay in EU

Hugh Fox
January 20, 2019

"After the horrors of the Second World War, Britain did not give up on us".

Corbyn said May's crushing defeat in parliament on Tuesday "has shredded the last vestiges" of her authority.

The Brexit process should be delayed for a year to allow for the creation of a network of UK-wide "citizens assemblies" to help resolve the impasse, former prime minister Gordon Brown has told a public meeting in Edinburgh.

"So there are two ways to avoid no deal: either to vote for a deal, in particular a withdrawal agreement, that has been agreed with the European Union, or to revoke Article 50 and overturn the referendum result", she said.

The former cabinet minister - widely seen as a man with leadership ambitions - said even discussing a delay to Brexit weakens Britain's negotiating position in Brussels.

He said he had always made clear that immigration "can be a wonderful thing", so long as it is "controlled".

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The government plans to start hiring 600 extra employees to deal with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for cross-border trade, to help customs as well as vets and other inspectors who carry out checks on goods, livestock and food products.

A high-level EU official is now touring all the capitals of the 27 countries remaining in the bloc, to assess Brexit preparations and provide help where needed, EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Thursday.

He specifically mentioned maintaining a customs union with the EU that some businesses favor, but May rejects because it limits Britain's ability to strike its own trade deals.

The avoidance of a hard Brexit has "top priority now" but the responsibility would lie with the British government and the Labour party opposition in London, according to BDI director Lang.

Earlier this week, the British parliament rejected prime minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a no confidence motion against her government.

"From the bottom of our hearts, we want them to stay", the sentimental letter says, citing milky tea and post-work pints at the pub among the habits best-loved by German Anglophiles.

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"We're not taking any chances", said Schinas.

However, she maintained that ruling out a no deal scenario was not possible.

As Britain flounders, the 27 other European Union countries have stood firm, saying they won't renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and insisting that the British Government and its lawmakers need to decide what they want to do.

"We will do everything we can so that Britain exits with, and not without, an agreement", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Berlin's lower house of parliament.

Asked whether he would back Mrs May to lead the Conservatives into a snap election if one was called, Mr Johnson said: "I think most people in this country feel they have had quite enough elections".

Johnson outlined that Brexit required the United Kingdom to massively increase its productivity levels that can only come about through ramping up the exploitation of the working class.

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The Labour leader, who branded Mrs May's offer a "stunt", is refusing to meet Mrs May until she rules out a no-deal Brexit. Mr Farage said he believed "it is now quite possible that we will see an extension of Article 50".

The ex-Labour leader said the European Union would agree to such an extension to allow the public to be consulted.

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