Theresa May to update MPs on Brexit talks progress

Anna Jefferson
February 13, 2019

The political manoeuvring comes amid strong signs that uncertainty over Brexit is already clamping down on Britain's economic growth.

"This time that remains is extremely short", Barnier told the joint news conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, but Parliament has rejected May's divorce deal.

Mr Barclay was said to have held "constructive" talks on Monday night with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. Although lawmakers asked for the backstop to be removed, May has said since that the backstop will remain, and that Parliament merely asked for it to be altered.

The news has been welcomed by business groups including the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce (BSCC) who say it will help to support jobs and ensure businesses can keep trading without disruption. With the International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox adding that it will "further strengthen the trading relationship" between the United Kingdom and Switzerland, which was worth 32.1 billion pounds in 2017. "There aren't any alternative proposals from them".

May will promise lawmakers a second opportunity to influence the Brexit talks later in the month in a bid to stave off any rebellion from within her own party by those who fear Britain could end up leaving without a deal.

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She wrote: "It is good to see that we agree that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union with a deal and that the urgent task at hand is to find a deal that honours our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, can command support in Parliament and can be negotiated with the EU - not to seek an election or second referendum".

Mr Corbyn has repeatedly said there should be an election if Mrs May can not get a deal through Parliament and he has faced concerted pressure from some in his party to push for a second public vote.

As I received the Prime Minister's letter yesterday in response to Labour's Brexit plan it became clearer to me that the Prime Minister is merely engaged in the pretence of working across Parliament to find solutions.

May confirmed her promise to give Parliament another chance to vote on what happens next by February 27, if no deal has been agreed - and endorsed in the Commons - before then.

The four governments struck an initial agreement in December after British Prime Minister Theresa May reached a divorce deal with the European Union that British lawmakers later rejected.

Time pressure is mounting.

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"And I set out the UK's position, strengthened by the mandate that this house gave me, that this house needs to see legally binding changes to the backstop, and that can be achieved by changes to the withdrawal agreement". The gridlock over Brexit continues in parliament. Downing Street said that would give Parliament a few days to consider her remarks.

Gross domestic product growth stood at 1.4 per cent a year ago, down from 1.8 per cent in 2017, while growth was only 0.2 per cent in the last three months of 2018, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Business leaders have argued that a no-deal Brexit would spell disaster for the UK's economy.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire confirmed on Sunday that if no revised deal were put to the Commons by February 27, MPs would again be given an amendable motion, meaning they could vote on preferred ways forward.

"I am sure that when a meaningful vote has been agreed in this house then every member. will want to ensure that they are able to operate on a timetable that enables us to leave at the end of the two year period agreed", May added.

The head of business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry warned that the chances of Britain leaving the European Union next month without a deal have increased and the country has now entered "the emergency zone".

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