The British government says it hopes to resume talks with Labour to try to find a Brexit deal that can be passed by parliament. However, on Monday morning it was unclear whether the two sides would actually meet – let alone make progress towards an agreement. Culture minister Jeremy Wright said he hoped that discussions would continue, adding that all sides needed to be ready to compromise. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the prime minister was leaving “no stone unturned” in her determination to deliver Brexit. Labour’s Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer said that “exchanges” had continued over the weekend, but no new talks were scheduled and the party was waiting for a concrete proposal from the government. Theresa May has claimed that reaching out to the opposition party is the only way to avoid either leaving the EU with no deal or not leaving at all. The prime minister defended her stance in an uncharacteristically informal video on Sunday. She … [Read more...] about Brexit: customs union at centre of compromise talks ahead of crucial EU summit
Resume dealing with difficult customers
Theresa May will go to Paris and Berlin to plead with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron for a Brexit extension on Tuesday, promising to be a good member of the European Union until departure day and claiming talks with Labour have a serious chance of reaching a deal. Before an emergency European summit this week, the prime minister will head to the continent to make the case for extending article 50 only until the end of June. However, she is also being forced to make pledges that the UK would abide by EU rules for however long it is a member, given that a longer delay and participation in European elections now look like the most likely option. EU leaders will decide at the talks on Wednesday night whether to grant an extension to article 50 at all but are most likely to offer a longer delay of up to a year involving strict conditions forcing the UK into “sincere cooperation” with the rest of the bloc. That prospect appeared to be acknowledged on Monday when the … [Read more...] about May risks wrath of Conservative Brexiters to plead with EU for more time
Sunday Crunch is compiled today by Charlie Cooper. View in your browser. 5 THINGS TO KNOW 1. ANOTHER QUIET WEEK: Talks between the government and the Labour party seeking a historic Brexit compromise are set to resume this week, while at the same time, Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to plea for a further delay to the U.K.’s departure at an emergency EU summit on Wednesday. If they don’t agree, the U.K. could leave the EU with no deal at 11 p.m. local time on Friday. Buckle up. 2. ‘POSITIVE AND HOPEFUL:’ Negotiating teams for the government and the Labour party had further “exchanges” over the weekend, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, characterizing the mood in the talks, in which she has played a key part, as “positive and hopeful.” She said the government had offered no changes to the Brexit deal as of yet, but that she was “hopeful that will … [Read more...] about POLITICO Sunday Crunch: Talks with Labour continue — Leadsom’s hint — Short or long extension?
MPs have voted tonight on eight possible Brexit options after Parliament seized control of the Commons agenda.The MPs could vote yes or no or abstain from voting for each of the options.Update 9.43pmMPs have given no majority to any of the eight Brexit alternatives considered on day one of the indicative vote process.The votes were as follows: Motion B) No deal – Yes: 160No: 400(Majority: 240)Motion D) Common market 2.0 –Yes: 188No:283(Majority: 95) Motion H) Efta and EEA –Yes: 65No: 377(Majority: 312)Motion J) Customs union – Yes: 264No: 272(Majority: 8) Motion K) Labour’s alternative plan –Yes: 237No: 307(Majority: 70)Motion L) Revocation to avoid no-deal – Yes:184No: 293(Majority: 109) Motion M) Confirmatory public vote – Yes: 268No: 295(Majority: 27)Motion O) Contingent preferential arrangements – Yes: 139No: 422Majority: 283 Update 9.24pmMPs have voted in favour of regulations linked to changing the exit date of the UK’s … [Read more...] about Latest: MPs have given no majority to any of the 8 Brexit options; DUP won’t back deal
Brexit talks appear mired in deadlock with just 23 days to go after the UK and EU admitted things are proving "difficult". Theresa May looked no closer to a breakthrough today despite holding a trio of crucial House of Commons votes next week. MPs will vote by next Tuesday on whether to accept her Brexit deal, whatever form it's in and whether she gets any revisions. If it fails, they will vote by Wednesday on whether to accept No Deal Brexit . That could then trigger a vote to delay Brexit on Thursday. Yet for all the talk of Mrs May unveiling changes on Monday, the signs from Brussels and London today were bleak. A press conference was killed off after lengthy talks last night between the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay. The European Commission said there was still "no solution" to the Irish backstop, a clause in the 585-page deal that could trap the UK under EU customs rules from 2021. And today, Downing … [Read more...] about Last-ditch Brexit talks mired as Theresa May admits it’s proving ‘difficult’