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💩 Brexit: MPs push to prevent no-deal in law
« Reply #105 on: April 03, 2019, 05:19:17 AM »

Brexit: MPs push to prevent no-deal in law

Media captionYvette Cooper: "We're in a very dangerous situation"

A cross-party group of MPs has put forward a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit in 10 days' time.

If passed into law, the bill would require the PM to ask for an extension of Article 50 - which mandates the UK's exit from the EU - beyond the current 12 April deadline.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper presented the bill - which supporters hope they can pass through the Commons in one day.

The prime minister is expected to make a statement shortly.

It comes after the cabinet, which remains split over Brexit, met for eight hours in No 10.

The BBC's John Pienaar said Theresa May's ministers considered plans to "ramp up" no-deal Brexit preparations and a snap general election was also discussed.

    What could happen next?
    How did my MP vote on Brexit options?

Ms Cooper's bill would make it UK law for the PM to ask for an extension to prevent a no-deal, but it would be up to the EU to grant it - or not.

In March, MPs voted against leaving the EU without a deal, but it was not legally binding.

Meanwhile, the EU's chief negotiator has said a no-deal Brexit is now more likely but can still be avoided.

Michel Barnier said a long extension to the UK's 12 April exit date had "significant risks for the EU" and a "strong justification would be needed".

France's President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are meeting in Paris to discuss the impact of Brexit.
Media captionTaoiseach Leo Varadkar said the EU should be open to any "credible proposals" the UK put forward

President Macron told reporters that the EU "cannot be hostage to the political crisis in the UK", and the government must come forward with "credible" reasons for an extension.

He said these could include an election, second referendum, or alternative proposals for the future relationship, such as a customs union.

Mr Varadkar said the UK was "consumed by Brexit", but the EU should not be.

He said the EU "needs to be open" about any proposals the UK brings, including a longer extension, and they will do what they can to "assist".

But he added: "We gave the UK some time, some space and some opportunity to come up with a way forward... [but] as things stand, they will leave on 12 April without a deal."

    Brexit deadlock: The Commons in numbers
    EU 'will not be hostage to Brexit crisis'
    What does a soft Brexit mean?
    Ex-Tory MP hits out at 'cowardly' cabinet

Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who supports Ms Cooper's bill, said: "This is a last-ditch attempt to prevent our country being exposed to the risks inherent in a no-deal exit.

"We realise this is difficult. But it is definitely worth trying."

Ms Cooper said the UK was "in a very dangerous situation" and MPs "have a responsibility to make sure we don't end up with a catastrophic no deal".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World At One, she added: "We have been attempting to squeeze into just a couple of days a process that really should have been happening for the last two years - a process of trying to build a consensus around the best way forward.

"It is what the prime minister should be doing. It is the prime minister's responsibility to ensure we don't leave the country less safe."
Why is this bill unusual?
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Normally the government chooses which bills to present to Parliament in order for them to become law.

But - much to the government's disapproval - MPs voted to allow backbenchers to take charge of business in the Commons on Wednesday.

This gives backbenchers the opportunity to table their own bills, such as this one from Yvette Cooper.

A copy of the bill shows that they want to push it through the commons in one day.

As the backbenchers will be in charge, they will also be able to vote to set aside more time on another day, if they need to complete the process or hold further indicative votes.

However, the bill would also have to be agreed by the House of Lords and receive Royal Assent before it became law - which if the Commons agrees it on Wednesday, could happen as soon as Thursday.

Brexiteer Tory Sir Bill Cash said trying to go through these stages in one day made it a "reprehensible procedure".

But Speaker John Bercow said that, while it was "an unusual state of affairs", it was "not as unprecedented as he supposes" - citing recent bills on Northern Ireland that have been passed at the same speed.

In the latest round of indicative votes on Monday, MPs voted on four alternatives to the PM's withdrawal deal, but none gained a majority.

MPs rejected a customs union with the EU by three votes. A motion for another referendum got the most votes in favour, but still lost.

The votes were not legally binding, but they had been billed as the moment when Parliament might finally compromise.

The Independent MP Chris Leslie tweeted that MPs would be seeking more time for indicative votes to take place on Monday.
Image Copyright @ChrisLeslieMP @ChrisLeslieMP

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said he is considering resigning the whip after his party refused to back proposals for a customs union and Common Market 2.0 on Monday.

He told BBC News: "If you are seen to be unreasonable, not engaging to find solutions, I don't think it is very attractive to the people."

Earlier, Mr Barnier said: "No deal was never our desire or intended scenario but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely."
Media captionBarnier: "No-deal Brexit has become more likely"

Mrs May's plan for the UK's departure has been rejected by MPs three times.

Last week, Parliament took control of the process away from the government in order to hold a series of votes designed to find an alternative way forward.

Eight options were put to MPs, but none was able to command a majority, and on Monday night, a whittled-down four were rejected too.
What next?

    Tuesday 2 April: A five-hour cabinet meeting
    Wednesday 3 April: Potentially another round of indicative votes, and Yvette Cooper's bill to be debated
    Thursday 4 April: Theresa May could bring her withdrawal deal back to Parliament for a fourth vote, while MPs could also vote on Ms Cooper's bill
    Wednesday 10 April: Emergency summit of EU leaders to consider any UK request for further extension
    Friday 12 April: Brexit day, if UK does not seek / EU does not grant further delay
    23-26 May: European Parliamentary elections
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💩 Brexit: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn hold 'constructive' talks
« Reply #106 on: April 04, 2019, 03:28:49 AM »
JCs spin was not quite so upbeat.


Brexit: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn hold 'constructive' talks

Media captionCorbyn: May meeting "useful but inconclusive"

Talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to break the Brexit deadlock have been called "constructive".

The two leaders met on Wednesday afternoon and agreed a "programme of work" to try to find a way forward to put to MPs for a vote.

It is understood that each party has appointed a negotiating team, which will meet later tonight before a full day of discussions on Thursday.

A spokesman for No 10 said both sides were "showing flexibility".

And he added that the two parties gave "a commitment to bring the current Brexit uncertainty to a close".

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Corbyn said there had not been "as much change as [he] had expected" in the PM's position.

He said the meeting was "useful, but inconclusive", and talks would continue.
Media captionCox: "Once we are out, we are out"

This evening, MPs are debating legislation which would require Mrs May to seek an extension to Article 50 and give the Commons the power to approve or amend whatever was agreed.

The bill passed its first parliamentary hurdle by 315 to 310 votes, with further stages - including consideration of amendments - set to continue until 22.00 BST.

Supporters of the bill, tabled by Labour's Yvette Cooper, are trying to fast-track the bill through the Commons in the space of five hours, in a move which has angered Tory Brexiteers.

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Mr Corbyn said he raised a number of issues with Mrs May, including future customs arrangements, trade agreements and the option of giving the public the final say over the deal in another referendum.

The Labour leader is coming under pressure from senior colleagues to make a referendum a condition of signing up to any agreement.

Demanding the shadow cabinet hold a vote on the issue, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said not backing a confirmatory vote would be a "breach" of the policy agreed by party members at its last conference.

The UK has until 12 April to propose a plan to the EU - which must be accepted by the bloc - or it will leave without a deal on that date.

The PM proposed the talks in a statement on Tuesday night. She wants to agree a policy with the Labour leader for MPs to vote on before 10 April - when the EU will hold an emergency summit on Brexit.

If there is no agreement between the two leaders, Mrs May said a number of options would be put to MPs "to determine which course to pursue".

In either event, Mrs May said she would ask the EU for a further short extension to hopefully get an agreement passed by Parliament before 22 May, so the UK does not have to take part in European elections.

The two leaders also met Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The SNP leader said she had "good" and "open" conversations with both, and while she believed Mr Corbyn would "drive a hard bargain", she was "still not entirely clear" where the prime minister was willing to compromise.

The SNP leader, who backs a further referendum and wants to remain in the EU, told reporters: "My concern is that in the rush to reach some compromise with the clock ticking, what will happen over the next few days... is a bad compromise will be reached."

The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the Independent Group have also held a joint press conference, calling for any decision made by the leaders to be put to a public vote.

But some Tory Brexiteers have condemned the talks, with two ministers resigning over the issue.

Chris Heaton-Harris quit on Wednesday afternoon, claiming his job at the Department for Exiting the European Union had become "irrelevant" if the government is not prepared to leave without a deal.

Wales Minister Nigel Adams also resigned earlier, saying the government was at risk of failing to deliver "the Brexit people voted for".
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💩 Brexit: House suspended due to WATER LEAK in Parliament
« Reply #107 on: April 05, 2019, 12:00:03 AM »
Pretty CONVENIENT time for a "leak" forcing an evacuation of Parliament, wouldn't you say?

Also check out how FEW MPs were actually attending this session even BEFORE the supposed "leak"!


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The Clown Show that keeps on Giving.


Today in Brexit: Looks Like Theresa and Jeremy Might Not Be Able to Work This Out on Their Own

By Joshua Keating
April 04, 20195:36 PM

Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in North London on Thursday.
Animation by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images.

Today in Brexit is a daily feature that attempts to keep track of the chaotic mess playing out in the U.K. If you’re just tuning in, here’s a brief explainer on what you’ve been missing.

One striking thing about British politics for an American observer is that bipartisanship and “reaching across the aisle” are not fetishized there like they are here. This is probably for structural reasons: In the American system, the White House and the legislature are often controlled by different parties—Donald Trump has to sit down with “Chuck and Nancy” on a regular basis if he wants to pass anything through Congress. In the U.K., the party controlling Parliament also controls the executive, and can usually rely on its own votes, sometimes with a coalition partner, to pass legislation.

So the prime minister sitting in a room haggling with the leader of the opposition to pass her bill—as Theresa May did with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this week—is not how things are supposed to work. It’s even weirder when the governing party’s official position for the past four years has been that the leader of the opposition is an anti-Semitic Stalinist who poses a grave threat to national security. But with the prime minister’s party terminally split over Brexit, that’s where we are.

Today’s meeting: Corbyn and May wrapped up a second day of talks after four and half hours Thursday. May is now hoping to forge an agreement with Corbyn that the two of them can present jointly to Parliament, meaning she’s hoping that she can get enough votes from the opposition to overcome resistance from the hard-liners in her own party and her coalition partners, who have continuously opposed the withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the EU.

No concrete deal came out of the talks, but they plan to meet again and May’s side described the session as “constructive.” That’s also what they said about Wednesday’s meeting, but there have been reports suggesting it was a little frostier than that:
inRead invented by Teads

Today in intra-party squabbles: The Labour Party is split on whether Corbyn should demand a new public referendum on whatever deal is passed. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign minister, issued a statement Wednesday calling on the party to insist that “any deal agreed by Parliament must be subject to a confirmatory public vote, and yes, the other option on the ballot must be Remain.” But Thursday, 25 Labour MPs wrote an open letter to Corbyn warning him against calling for a new referendum, insisting on the importance of “respecting the 2016 vote.” The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, who participated in the May-Corbyn talks, said a new vote would be discussed, but it’s not clear how strongly Labour will push for it. This whole debate will be academic if Corbyn and May can’t reach an agreement at all.

Today’s in Lords: Wednesday night, the House of Commons passed a bill, by one vote, that attempts to prevent a no-deal Brexit by requiring May to ask the EU for an extension on the current Brexit deadline, which is April 12. (Coming up soon!) It would also give Parliament the power to determine the length of the extension she asked for. The government opposes the bill, arguing that it would actually increase the risk of an “accidental” no-deal Brexit: EU leaders are meeting on Wednesday where they will likely consider the U.K.’s request for a delay. If they approve a different date than the one proposed by Parliament, May would then have to bring it back for approval by Parliament the next day, which is April 11, one day before the deadline. That’s cutting it pretty close.

The bill still needs to be approved by the House of Lords, where it is being debated Thursday under a special expedited process. (Most bills take weeks to pass.) Pro-Brexit lords are fighting the bill, with one calling the expedited process “tyranny.”

Today in Ireland: German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Ireland on Thursday, where she met with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and spoke with people living near the Republic of Ireland–Northern Ireland border. Merkel was seeking a “clearer picture” of how Ireland is preparing for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, according to the German ambassador. “We will do everything in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit,” Merkel said in a press conference, which could indicate she’s open to granting the U.K. another extension next week. But a lot still has to happen before then.

The visit seemed to have some personal resonance for Merkel, who grew up in East Germany during the era of the Berlin Wall. “I lived behind the Iron Curtain—and I know what it means when walls fall. The discussion with citizens from the border region has shown that everything must be done in order to maintain this peaceful coexistence,” she said.
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💩 Today in Brexit: Give Us Just a Little More Time—Seriously, Please?
« Reply #109 on: April 06, 2019, 04:46:42 AM »
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Today in Brexit: Give Us Just a Little More Time—Seriously, Please?

By Elliot Hannon
April 05, 20195:53 PM

Today in Brexit is a daily feature that will attempt to keep track of the chaotic mess playing out in the U.K. If you’re just tuning in, here’s a brief explainer on what you’ve been missing.

Welcome to Brexit purgatory, which on Friday started to look like it might last even longer than previously thought possible. With the U.K. set to depart the EU in exactly one week and no agreement in Parliament on what the relationship between the two should look like after the breakup, Prime Minister Theresa May formally requested from Brussels another extension to the Brexit deadline, proposing a new drop dead date of June 30.

Today in Desperation: Will Brussels agree to the 11-week extension for the U.K. to try again to reach consensus on a deal? It looks increasingly like not. The British prime minister requested the very same June 30 extension the first time around, and the EU shot it down, opting for a shorter reprieve. It appears likely to say no again, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an extension of some kind. European Council President Donald Tusk is pushing a full-year extension! He’s pitching it as a “flextension,” meaning that the U.K. would have the full year to come to some sort of decision but could pull out earlier if it got its act together. In this scenario, the U.K. is a harried student begging a teacher (the EU) for one more day after pulling an all-nighter to finish an essay—and failing. And the teacher, after taking a look at the state of the paper, replies: “How about you take a week. Trust me, you’ll need it.”

Today’s Emergency: What now? EU and U.K. leaders are scheduled to meet for an emergency summit Wednesday that will almost certainly revolve around the terms of an extension, rather than the nature of Britain’s exit. It is not a certainty, however, that the EU will grant an extension at all. There are rumblings from within the European member states, the loudest coming from France, that granting another extension won’t do anything other than kick the can down the road—yet again. It’s a hard argument to counter considering the lethargic pace of the Brexit negotiations until a deadline focused the mind. Those deadlines haven’t yet produced any new results, but they have sufficiently motivated British parliamentarians to engage on the issue.

Today’s Reminder This Is Still a Negosh: It’s important to remember that Brexit is a negotiation, and rumblings from France, for instance, could be a “bad cop” routine, serving as a stick to keep the U.K. moving. The European Union’s line has generally been that it would like the U.K. to stay as closely aligned with the bloc as possible, and as the deadline nears, British parliamentarians have been drifting toward a more centrist compromise that would see the country more closely aligned than even under May’s negotiated withdrawal. Would the EU want to halt this momentum just to prove a point about deadlines? Seems unlikely.

The brinkmanship of sticking to the current April 12 deadline or bust, without the ability to grant some sort of extension, might help keep British leaders on task. But it also makes very real the chance that the U.K. would be unable to come to an internal agreement about its future relationship with the EU and would leave the bloc with no deal at all. A no-deal Brexit, which would see the country revert to WTO trade rules, is favored by a sizable and vocal portion of the right wing of British politics. This non-negotiated style of Brexit, however, is seen as carrying substantial economic risks, as it would essentially rip the U.K. economy from the European economy in one week’s time, requiring new customs arrangements, trade deals, and on and on. The operating assumption is that the EU will do what it takes to avoid that scenario, even grant an extension that perhaps wasn’t exactly earned.

Today’s Lame Duck: Complicating matters on Friday’s extension request is the fact that European parliamentary elections are set to be held on May 23. That puts the U.K. in the potentially awkward position of going to the polls to elect representatives to a government they don’t plan participating in, long-term. May has assured Brussels the country will go through the steps to hold the election, a move that has laid the groundwork for a longer extension. From the EU’s point of view, having lame duck British MEPs isn’t all that appealing for the obvious reason that they may have different long- and short-term interests on matters before the European Parliament. This may seem like a far-fetched threat of internal sabotage by British MEPs should Brexit negotiations stretch on through another session of parliament in Europe, but it’s one that right-wing pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg made explicitly on Friday.

Will that happen? We’re not there yet. Rees-Mogg, like many other so-called Brexiteers, favors a hard Brexit, which is seen as more likely if no extension is granted.

Days left until next deadline: Still 7!  But watch this space.
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Really making progress here!  ::)


Europe|May’s Compromise Talks With Corbyn Hit Snag as She Asks for Brexit Extension

In asking for a Brexit extension until June 30, Prime Minister Theresa May was bowing to pressure from her Conservative Party not to be seen as forcing Britain into a long delay.CreditCreditJack Taylor/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Benjamin Mueller

    April 5, 2019

LONDON — Talks on a compromise Brexit plan between Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain and the opposition Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, hit a snag on Friday, just as Mrs. May sought a nearly two-month delay in the deadline for leaving the European Union.

Labour leaders said Mrs. May had so far refused to budge from her original plan, but the government said it was still prepared to propose changes.

The developments illustrated the challenges confronting the leaders in reaching an agreement for Britain’s withdrawal, with both Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn facing difficulties within their parties if they compromise.

News of the deadlock came on the same day Mrs. May asked for a second extension of the deadline for departure, to June 30. The original March 29 deadline had been extended once, to April 12 — one week away.

Commenting on the negotiations so far between Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn, Keir Starmer, Labour’s lead lawmaker on Brexit, said the government was so far not allowing “any changes to the actual wording of the political declaration,” the part of Mrs. May’s deal that outlines Britain’s future relationship with Europe and that would be the centerpiece of any compromise.

He said talks would continue only if the government changed its position.

“So far, the government isn’t proposing any changes to the deal,” Mr. Starmer told reporters on Friday. “We want the talks to continue and we’ve written in those terms to the government, but we do need change if we’re going to compromise.”

What Is Brexit? A Simple Guide to Why It Matters and What Happens Next

The basics of Brexit, the troubled plan for Britain to quit the European Union.

A minister in Mrs. May’s government, Rory Stewart, said the government was prepared to compromise on the political declaration, saying the negotiations with Labour had run into problems but were not dead.

“In truth, the positions of the two parties are very, very close and where there’s good will it should be possible to get this done and get it done relatively quickly,” Mr. Stewart said in an interview on BBC Radio 4.

In a statement, Downing Street said, “We have made serious proposals in talks this week, and are prepared to pursue changes to the political declaration in order to deliver a deal that is acceptable to both sides.”

No further talks were scheduled, a Labour official said, but the party was willing to reopen negotiations if the government’s position changed.

After seeing her Brexit deal rejected three times by Parliament, Mrs. May earlier this week sought to break months of deadlock by meeting with Mr. Corbyn.

Mrs. May’s plan was to eventually take Britain out of Europe’s main economic structures but give it control over immigration from continental Europe.

Mr. Corbyn has been reluctant to be pinned down on a single alternate plan, but Labour’s policy is to keep Britain more closely tied to European regulations and leave the door open to a second public vote on Brexit.

Pro-Brexit protesters outside the Parliament in London.Credit Henry Nicholls/Reuters

One of the compromise plans that has been most popular in Parliament is Britain’s agreeing to remain in the European customs union, meaning it would not charge tariffs on European products.

But Mrs. May would risk a rebellion of hard-line, pro-Brexit lawmakers in her Conservative Party if she accepts a compromise that keeps Britain tied closely to Europe.

Meanwhile, a compromise would force Mr. Corbyn to face the wrath of pro-European lawmakers in Labour, who want nothing less than another public vote that could reverse Brexit altogether.

Mrs. May already seemed to be contemplating difficulties in talks when she wrote on Friday morning to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, asking to again delay Britain’s departure from the bloc.

She said in the letter that if talks with Mr. Corbyn did not produce a compromise, she would hold a series of votes in Parliament on alternative paths, in the hopes that lawmakers would settle on one.

Parliament has already tested support among lawmakers for various plans, only for none to win a majority. But the government is expected to try to use a somewhat different voting process, were it to try again.

“This impasse cannot be allowed to continue,” Mrs. May wrote. “In the U.K. it is creating uncertainty and doing damage to faith in politics, while the European Union has a legitimate desire to move on to decisions about its own future.”

Donald Tusk, center-left, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, center-right, president of the European Commission, in Brussels last month.CreditJohn Thys/Agence France-Presse — Getty

Mrs. May also conceded in the letter that Britain was preparing to take part in elections for the European Parliament in May.

Analysts said Brussels would probably reject her proposed date of June 30 for a Brexit postponement — and some countries said they had yet to see a sufficient reason to support any extension.

Britain was originally scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29, but European leaders granted a short extension to give Parliament more time to approve a withdrawal deal.

Mr. Tusk was pushing European leaders to offer Mrs. May a one-year extension for Brexit while leaving the door open to an earlier withdrawal if Britain ratifies a deal, according to a senior European Union official familiar with his thinking. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with standard practice.

That plan, described as a “flextension,” would eliminate the need for European leaders to repeatedly consider British requests for a delay. And in allowing Britain to leave sooner if an agreement is reached, Mr. Tusk appears to be trying to make it clear that Brussels is not trying to trap Britain in the bloc.

Mr. Tusk’s plan would still need the backing of European Union member states, and there were some signs of resistance from France, which typically takes the hardest line in these matters, as well as Austria and the Netherlands.

“The French president has made very clear that if we want to grant an extension: What for?” the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said before a meeting of European finance ministers in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday. He added, “It is up to the British government to give an answer to that key question.”

In a Twitter post, Jacob Rees-Mogg, center, recommended that, if “stuck” in the European Parliament over the next year, Britain should be “as difficult as possible.”CreditFacundo Arrizabalaga/EPA, via Shutterstock
In a Twitter post, Jacob Rees-Mogg, center, recommended that, if “stuck” in the European Parliament over the next year, Britain should be “as difficult as possible.”CreditFacundo Arrizabalaga/EPA, via Shutterstock

The cross-party talks had been cited by some as reason enough for the bloc to offer an extension. Further difficulties in the talks throw that into question, and any new extension may depend on what Parliament manages to accomplish next week.

The Netherlands has generally been more sympathetic to Britain, but Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, expressed exasperation with the British negotiating approach. “I keep being amazed at how the fifth economy of the world handles its interests,” he said.

In asking for an extension until June 30, Mrs. May was bowing to pressure from within her Conservative Party not to be seen as forcing the country into a longer delay.

But she was also laying the ground for a more protracted extension by agreeing that Britain was prepared to participate in European elections in May. That was seen in Brussels as a condition for another Brexit postponement.

Those moves have not gone over well with hard-line Brexit supporters. That rancor was reflected in a Twitter post on Wednesday by the lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, who recommended that, if “stuck” in the European Parliament over the next year that Britain be “as difficult as possible.”

The Labour Party received a glimmer of good news in a by-election in South Wales, retaining a traditional Labour seat in an area that had backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

But amid low turnout, the margin was relatively slim, with the winner, Ruth Jones, receiving 39.5 percent of the vote, compared with 31 percent for the Conservatives and 9 percent for the rejuvenated far-right U.K. Independence Party.

Milan Schreuer contributed reporting from Brussels.
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💩 Brexit: I had no choice but to approach Labour - May
« Reply #111 on: April 07, 2019, 12:41:55 AM »
Considering she is a Nazi who thinks he is a Stalinist, that must have been tough for her.  lol.


Brexit: I had no choice but to approach Labour - May

    26 minutes ago

Mrs May has been criticised by some Conservatives for reaching out to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted she had to reach out to Labour in a bid to deliver Brexit or risk letting it "slip through our fingers".

In a statement on Saturday night, Mrs May said there was a "stark choice" of either leaving the European Union with a deal or not leaving at all.

Some Conservatives have criticised her for seeking Labour's help after MPs rejected her Brexit plan three times.

Three days of talks between the parties ended without agreement on Friday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "waiting to see the red lines move" and had not "noticed any great change in the government's position".

He is coming under pressure from his MPs to demand a referendum on any deal he reaches with the government, with 80 signing a letter saying a public vote should be the "bottom line" in the negotiations.

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In her statement, Mrs May said that after doing "everything in my power" to persuade her party - and its backers in Northern Ireland's DUP - to approve the deal she agreed with the EU last year, she "had to take a new approach".

"We have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons," the PM said, insisting the two main parties agreed on the need to protect jobs and end free movement.

"The referendum was not fought along party lines and people I speak to on the doorstep tell me they expect their politicians to work together when the national interest demands it."

Getting a majority of MPs to back a Brexit deal was the only way for the UK to leave the EU, Mrs May said.

"The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all."
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab says the talks could help Mr Corbyn into No 10

The UK is due to leave the EU on 12 April and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by the House of Commons.

Labour says it has had no indication the government will agree to its demand for changes to the political declaration - the section of Mrs May's Brexit deal which outlines the basis for future UK-EU relations.

The document declares mutual ambitions in areas such as trade, regulations, security and fishing rights - but does not legally commit either party.

Downing Street has indicated it is "prepared to pursue changes" in order to secure a deal, and Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Saturday he was "optimistic" the talks could reach "some form of agreement".
'Open revolt'

However, Tory Brexiteers have reacted angrily to the prospect of Mrs May accepting Labour's demands, particularly for a customs union with the EU which would allow tariff-free trade with the bloc but prevent the UK from striking its own trade deals.

Leaving the EU's customs union was a Conservative manifesto commitment, and former party whip Michael Fabricant predicted "open revolt" among Tories and Leave voters if MPs agreed to it.

However, Downing Street has described the prospect as "speculation".

The Sunday Telegraph reported some activists were refusing to campaign for the party, while donations had "dried up".

And former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab writes in the Mail on Sunday that Mrs May's approach "threatens to damage the Conservatives for years".

"There is now a danger that Brexit could be lost and that the government could fall - handing the keys to Downing Street to Corbyn," he says.

BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake said the government would not be drawn on what it was willing to offer Labour.

"No 10 described as speculation reports that it would... enshrine in a law a promise to give Parliament a say on the terms of further negotiations with the EU, as a way of stopping a new Tory leader shifting to a harder Brexit."

In a letter to Mr Corbyn, some Labour MPs have pointed out that - because the political declaration is not legally binding, and with Mrs May having promised to stand down - a future Tory PM could simply "rip up" any of her commitments.

Four shadow ministers were among 80 signatories of the Love Socialism Hate Brexit campaign letter pressing for a further public vote.
'No legitimacy'

Any compromise deal agreed by Parliament will have "no legitimacy if it is not confirmed by the public", it argues.

However, Labour is split on the subject, with a letter signed by 25 Labour MPs on Thursday arguing the opposite.

They warned it would "divide the country further and add uncertainty for business" and could be "exploited by the far-right, damage the trust of many core Labour voters and reduce our chances of winning a general election".

The Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom argues in the Sunday Telegraph that a further referendum would be "the ultimate betrayal".

"It would require lengthy delay, it would reignite the divisive debate, and since Parliament has so far failed to follow the first result, there is no reason to believe it would honour a second referendum either," she writes.
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💩 Brexit: T-5 Days & Counting Down
« Reply #112 on: April 07, 2019, 07:36:07 AM »
5 Days left before...

What kind of Stick Save can they pull off in 5 days?  ???  :icon_scratch:


April 7, 2019 / 3:47 AM / Updated an hour ago
Compromise? Time ticking down for Britain to come to Brexit agreement
Elizabeth Piper

5 Min Read

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government held out the possibility of compromise with the opposition Labour Party on Sunday to try to win support in parliament for leaving the European Union with a deal, just days before the latest Brexit date.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church, as Brexit turmoil continues, near High Wycombe, Britain April 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Prime Minister Theresa May, weaker than ever after her Brexit deal was rejected by parliament three times, has been forced to turn to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after giving up on winning over eurosceptics in her Conservative Party, whose opposition has hardened.

With Britain’s departure now set for April 12, May’s government is running out of time to get a deal through a divided parliament, and must come up with a new plan to secure another delay from EU leaders at a summit on Wednesday.

Britain’s biggest shift in foreign and trade policy in more than 40 years is mired in uncertainty, with ministers saying Brexit may never happen, businesses worried the country could leave without a deal, and others just wanting to reverse it.

In a last-ditch bid to get her deal through parliament, May opened talks with Corbyn last week to try to strike a deal on Britain’s future ties with the EU in exchange for his support for her divorce deal, the Withdrawal Agreement.

So far those talks have failed to yield any kind of accord, with Labour policy chiefs saying the government has yet to move from its “red lines”, above all over a customs union, which sets tariffs for goods imported into the EU.


“Specifically provided we are leaving the European Union then it is important that we compromise, that’s what this is about and it is through gritted teeth,” said Andrea Leadsom, the Brexit-supporting leader of the House of Commons (lower house of parliament).

“But nevertheless the most important thing is to actually leave the EU,” she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, adding that May’s proposal for a customs arrangement after Brexit was not too far from Labour’s desire for a customs union.

Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, called on the two sides to find what he called “a sensible agreement to end the paralysis in British politics and to avoid a disorderly Brexit”.

But, while describing the talks so far as positive, Labour’s business policy chief Rebecca Long-Bailey said there had as yet been no “real changes” to the deal.

“I think both sides are committed to working quite rigorously to compromise as much as possible so that we can provide that compromise Brexit deal that I think parliament desperately needs at the moment,” she told the BBC.


Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s legal policy chief, was more blunt. “It’s hard to imagine that we are going to make real progress now without either a general election or a second referendum on any deal she can get over the line in parliament,” she told Sky News.

May has opposed remaining in the EU’s customs union saying it would mean that Britain could not secure free trade deals with other countries - a key plank to her Brexit strategy that saw her create a new government department for trade.

Britain voted by 52 to 48 percent in 2016 to leave the EU, and parliament, May’s cabinet and the country at large remain deeply polarised over the terms of Brexit and even whether to depart at all.

Despite the lack of convergence between the two major parties over a deal, there was one thing they did agree on - time is running out for Brexit to be secured.

May, who has been verbally mauled by members of her own party for turning to Labour, herself warned Brexit-supporting lawmakers that “the longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all”.

In an attempt to avoid falling out of the EU without a deal, she again heads to Brussels this week to ask for a further delay until June 30 - something EU leaders have said requires her setting out an alternative path to getting her deal approved.

Any extension would require unanimous approval from the other EU countries, all weary of Britain’s Brexit indecision, and could come with conditions. EU summit chair Donald Tusk plans to propose an extension of a year, which could be shortened if Britain’s parliament eventually ratifies the deal.
Slideshow (6 Images)

But even the threat of losing Brexit has so far failed to change the minds of hardline eurosceptic Conservative lawmakers, and some are now suggesting that Britain make the EU’s life a misery if Britain is forced to accept a long delay.

“If we are forced to remain in we must be the most difficult member possible,” Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group, a Conservative eurosceptic group, told Sky News.

“When the multi-annual financial framework comes forward, if we’re still in, this is our one in seven year opportunity to veto the budget and to be really very difficult.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Raissa Kasolowsky in London, Madeline Chambers in Berlin; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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💩 Brexit: Deal or No-Deal?
« Reply #113 on: April 08, 2019, 01:52:10 AM »
We're in the final stretch run here for this round, and the big question now is it Deal, No-Deal or Kick-the-Can?  What's the over-under here?  What's your pick?  I'm going to bet on No-Deal.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>


UK faces Brexit reckoning with no-deal deadline just days away
Published an hour ago Updated 28 min ago
Holly Ellyatt

European Council President Donald Tusk shows the way to Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May after posing for photographers within a bilateral meeting during the Eastern Partnership summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, on November 24, 2017.
Key Points

    The U.K.’s political environment continues to look as disjointed and uncertain as ever this week with cross-party talks over Brexit still bearing no compromise.
    All eyes are on the EU which meets on Wednesday and must decide whether to grant the U.K. more time over Brexit.
    The U.K. is meant to leave the EU on April 12 if the EU does not grant the country an extension to Brexit.


The U.K.’s political future looks as uncertain as ever this week with cross-party talks over Brexit still bearing no compromise ahead of crucial decisions that need to be made.

Meanwhile on the continent, all eyes are on EU leaders who will meet Wednesday and must decide whether to grant the U.K. more time to leave the bloc, or not.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May requested an extension to Brexit to June 30 but there are strong signals of dissent in Europe over granting the U.K. more time; France, in particular, is not keen. The U.K. is due to leave the EU on April 12 if the EU does not grant the country an extension to Brexit.

A majority of U.K. lawmakers have rejected her Brexit deal three times, while also rejecting a no-deal Brexit and failing to reach a consensus for any alternative options. May has now resorted to holding talks with her political rival, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, to find a way out of the Brexit impasse.

Talks have so far yielded little agreement, however, and are expected to continue Monday.

As it stands, if the EU refuses to grant the U.K. an extension to June 30 (or counter-propose a longer extension) the U.K. could be faced with a stark choice on Friday April 12 — leave the EU without a deal in place or revoke the whole departure process (known as Article 50) entirely.
watch now
BNY’s Derrick: Every move in the pound for months has been tied directly to Brexit news

The political uncertainty and confusion in the U.K. has riled politicians and the public alike with frustration over the length of time that Brexit is taking. Britain was originally due to leave the bloc on March 29 but was granted more time as no deal had been ratified.

European Parliament elections in late May are a key focus for the EU and Brexit is a complicated and unwanted distraction. There is therefore no certainty over what decision EU leaders will take Wednesday.

EU Council President Donald Tusk has suggested a one-year extension to Brexit but French President Emmanuel Macron has said there should be tough conditions imposed on the U.K. if it’s given any further time.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday that he considered it highly unlikely that EU leaders would veto a proposal to grant Britain more time, however, and that any country that did “wouldn’t be forgiven for it.”

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said the bank expects the EU to “reluctantly grant the U.K. a further Brexit delay” just because the alternative — “a hard Brexit with even more political chaos in a country that will remain a close neighbour, is just too bad.”

“Most of the cautious comments by EU27 decision makers point that way. Still, deciding unanimously at the 10 April emergency summit to give the U.K. even more time to sort itself out will not come easy for the EU27. It raises serious concerns and a grave tail risk,” he said in a note Monday.

“The EU27 may ask why a new delay should finally help the U.K. to get its act together if the first delay has not done the trick.”

May has been criticized by pro-Brexit members of her own Conservative Party and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on whose support she has relied upon in a minority government.

She has defended her decision to talk to Labour, however, tweeting a video Sunday in which she said she could not see Parliament accepting her Brexit deal after it was rejected three times and that “the choice that lies ahead of us is either leaving the European Union with a deal or not leaving at all.”

‘Schrodinger’s Cat’

Brexit has been the main focus point for sterling for months and the currency fell to a one-week low of $1.2987 on Friday as France and the Netherlands expressed doubt about May’s plan to further delay Brexit. It had rebounded Monday to trade at $1.3064. London’s FTSE 100 index trading lower Monday morning.

Simon Derrick, the chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon, likened sterling’s state of limbo to the thought experiment called “Schrodinger’s Cat” — the paradox of a cat being placed in a box with something that could kill it — but the observer not knowing whether it is alive or dead (and thus the cat is both alive and dead) before the box is opened.

Similarly, sterling’s fate can’t be known until the end of the week, Derrick told CNBC on Monday.

”(Sterling is like) Schrodinger’s currency,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

“It’s worth either $1.50 or $1.10 dependent on the outcome of Brexit but you don’t know until that happens. Until you open the box you don’t know and Brexit is the box.”

Derrick noted that the $1.30 price has been the average price against the dollar since the 2016 referendum “and here we are stuck to it.”

“It is entirely possible that by the end of the week we get to the point of finding out that we’ve actually opened the box,” he added.

There’s “a perfectly reasonable chance” that the prime minister goes to the European Council with no plan on Wednesday, Derrick said, and it was also “entirely possible that France, Spain and possibly Belgium go ‘no plan, no extension’ and that at the end of the week we’re looking at making a choice,” Derrick added.

“The choices are between a no-deal Brexit or revocation … It’s by no means clear what the actual result would be … It’s entirely possible that you could have a no deal Brexit, it’s equally possible that it might be revoked,” he said.
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I'll be getting together with Hepp and another Brit Mystery Guest to do a follow up report on the latest when maybe things get a little less murky?  ::)


The price of Brexit has been £66 billion so far, plus an impending recession — and it hasn't even started yet

The price of Brexit has been £66 billion so far, plus an impending recession — and it hasn't even started yet

theresa may Prime Minister Theresa May reacts to the rain as she leaves a church with her husband Philip. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Analysis banner

  • Brexit has cost the UK economy £66 billion ($86 billion) so far, according to S&P Global Ratings.
  • Brexit triggered a decline of the pound, an increase in inflation, the erosion of household spending power, a decline in house prices, and weak exports, S&P says.
  • The United Kingdom is now teetering at the brink of a new recession: Economic data published last week show UK GDP growth may have slipped to 0%.

The damage to the UK economy due to Brexit has cost £66 billion ($86 billion) so far, and left the United Kingdom teetering at the brink of a new recession, according to economic data published last week.

An analysis by S&P Global Ratings analyst Boris Glass found that the decline of the pound, increase in inflation, erosion of household spending power, decline in house prices, and weak exports led to a 3% reduction in GDP. "That translates into average forgone economic activity of £6.6 billion (in 2016 prices) in each of the 10 quarters since the referendum," Glass said in a research note.

uk gdp 5ca77099c6cc501b41026014 960 567The yellow line represents Britain's actual GDP growth trend. The dotted line represents the "doppelganger" data, which was unaffected by Brexit. S&P Global Ratings

The chart shows the results of Glass's calculations. He took real data (yellow line) and compared it to a statistical "doppelganger" economy (dotted line). The doppelganger consisted of a weighted basket of countries whose economies are comparable to the UK. So, for instance, the US is marked as 28.4% of the model, Hungary at 24.1%, Canada at 21.3%, and so on. The mixture produced a GDP growth trend that was almost identical to Britain's — until late 2016 when the Brexit effect kicked in.

investmentFixed Investment declined in Britain after the Brexit vote but it did not in the doppelganger countries. S&P Global Ratings

At that point, after the EU referendum, UK GDP slowed down while the doppelganger continued its growth trend.

The lost £66 billion implies that the country is £1,000 poorer, per person, on average, than it would have been had the vote never taken place.

The decline is showing up in the real-life data, too. A weighted average of Purchasing Manager Index data — which correlates closely with GDP growth — implies that British GDP was exactly zero in Q1, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics analyst Samuel Tombs.

"On past form, the weighted average PMI in Q1 as a whole points to quarter-on-quarter GDP growth falling to zero, from 0.2% in Q4," he told clients. "These surveys have tended to be too downbeat during previous bouts of high economic uncertainty," he said, because they do not capture all economic data.

PMIPMI data imply that GDP growth in the UK dropped to 0% in Q1. Pantheon Macroeconomics

In the global PMI data, a rank of 50 implies growth is flat. Below that is a decline, above is growth. Right now, the UK is exactly on the line at 50, the PMI data say. Here is a comparison map from HSBC analysts James Pomeroy and Vardhan Bhatia.

"As we'd expect, Brexit concerns were cited as 'the main cause' leading to the general level of economic weakness as firms delay spending," they told clients. "The only respite came in from the labour market bouncing back, as it has been the one consistent area of strength for the UK economy in recent months."

HSBCThe UK is doing worse than other large economies, according to HSBC. HSBC

"Disappointing PMI surveys indicate that the UK economy stalled in the first quarter and is at risk of sliding into a deepening downturn in coming months," warned Chris Williamson of IHS Markit, the company that publishes the PMI data.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

SEE ALSO: The closer we get to Brexit, the more solid the majority against it is

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Politics live with Andrew Sparrow

Brexit: Parliament votes through bill to prevent no-deal - as it happened

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

    May to resume Brexit talks with Labour to find compromise
    Analysis: can May keep her deal alive?
    Downing Street lobby briefing - Summary
    Barnier/Varadkar press appearance - Summary

Updated 9h ago
UK House of Commons debate European Union withdrawal bill - watch live

Andrew Sparrow and Kevin Rawlinson

Mon 8 Apr 2019 19.20 EDT
First published on Mon 8 Apr 2019 04.22 EDT


    11h ago Commons passes bill designed to prevent no-deal Brexit
    16h ago 1922 Committee has ruled out call for a fresh no confidence vote in May, says Brady
    16h ago Cooper bill supporters win first Lords vote today with majority of 234
    16h ago Barnier/Varadkar press appearance - Summary
    16h ago Government and Labour officials to hold further talks tonight about possible Brexit compromise, No 10 says
    17h ago Barnier says EU would refuse trade talks with UK after no-deal unless backstop addressed
    17h ago Barnier says EU happy to offer UK a customs union

9h ago 19:20
Closing summary

That’s all from us this evening. Thanks for reading and commenting. Here’s a summary of the day’s events:

    MPs will debate the prime minister’s plan to ask for a Brexit delay until 30 June on Tuesday. Parliamentarians will be able to suggest alternative dates, raising the prospect that Brexit could be pushed back yet further.
    The debate was set up when Parliament passed legislation designed to prevent the UK crashing out with no deal. The legislation, proposed by the Labour MP Yvette Cooper and others, required the prime minister to present her plan to request a delay in the form of an amendable motion and prevented her from suggesting any date before 22 May. Any delay would still require the consent of the EU, which has said it must come with a workable plan, but – if granted – it would stave off the prospect of what Cooper called an “inadvertent no-deal” Brexit.
    The EU said it would refuse to open trade talks with the UK after a no-deal Brexit unless the backstop issue was addressed. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said the situation would persist until the EU got assurances on the Irish border, citizens’ rights and money. Barnier added that he would be happy to offer the UK a customs union.
    Cross-party talks are due to continue on Tuesday, Labour said. The opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, repeated a call for the prime minister to show more willingness to compromise after discussions resumed on Monday.
    Signs of division within the hard Brexit-supporting ERG came to the fore. One of its members, Daniel Kawczynski, resigned and accused a “hardcore element of ‘Unicorn’ dreamers” within the ERG of putting Brexit at risk.

If you’d like to read more, my colleague Rowena Mason has the full story:
May risks wrath of Tory Brexiters to plead with EU for more time
Read more

10h ago 18:33

Brexit talks between Labour and the Tories will continue on Tuesday, a spokesman for the former says.

    Following meetings between Labour party and government officials today, ministerial and shadow ministerial negotiating teams will meet tomorrow to attempt to secure a Brexit compromise.


10h ago 18:33

As Brexit looms, The Guardian is here to help guide you through whatever lies ahead. Unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – our journalism remains accessible to all, so more people have access to accurate information with integrity at its heart. This is The Guardian’s model for open, independent journalism.

Our model enables people to support us in a way that works for them. Readers’ support safeguards our essential editorial independence.

For as little as $1 you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Make a contribution - The Guardian

10h ago 18:30

More than 70 Tory MPs rebelled on each vote linked to amendments to Cooper’s legislation, according to the division lists. The Labour Brexiter, Kate Hoey, and the DUP joined forces with them.

The Tory former Brexit secretaries, David Davis and Dominic Raab, along with the ERG chairman, Jacob Rees-Mogg, were also among those who rebelled.

10h ago 18:11

The legislation to extend the Brexit process in a bid to avoid a no-deal scenario has received royal assent and has become law.

Updated at 6.14pm EDT

11h ago 17:59

The Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, is addressing MPs after her victory. She thanks the clerks of the House for facilitating the process in “unusual and fast-moving circumstances”.

Cooper adds that the vote should be taken as an expression by parliament that there is no support for what she says would be a damaging no-deal Brexit and backing for the prime minister to get a deal through.

Hilary Benn asks if royal assent can be obtained tonight. The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, says he is “cautiously optimistic on that front”.

    UK House of Commons (@HouseofCommons)

    The House of Commons approves Lords Amendment 5 to the #EUWithdrawal5Bill by 390 votes to 81. This concludes debate on Lords amendments to the #EUWithdrawal5Bill. The Bill now awaits Royal Assent.
    April 8, 2019

In reaction to the vote, Labour says the government has proposed asking for a Brexit delay until 30 June. This is due to be debated for about 90 minutes on Tuesday.

    Labour Whips (@labourwhips)

    The Government have tabled the section 1 motion under the #CooperLetwinBill which is now required to agree the length of extension the PM will seek from the EU. This is debatable tomorrow.
    April 8, 2019

As the Financial Times’ Whitehall correspondent, Sebastian Payne, points out – the government can expect MPs to seek to amend that date.

    Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne)

    Following the success of Cooper-Letwin bill - 1st piece of backbench legislation to receive Royal Assent in living memory - government is tabling this motion to seek Commons support for short Brexit delay tomorrow.

    Get ready for amendments, forcing the PM into a longer delay 😬
    April 8, 2019

Updated at 6.10pm EDT

11h ago 17:55
Commons passes bill designed to prevent no-deal Brexit

MPs have voted in favour of the Cooper-Letwin bill, which requires the prime minister to seek an extension to article 50, thus staving off the prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal by accident.

They voted to accept the final Lords amendment by 390 votes to 81 – a majority of 309.

11h ago 17:37

MPs have rejected Cash’s amendment to the amendment, which sought to stop Brexit being delayed beyond 22 May, by 392 votes to 85 – a majority of 307. “The numbers are holding up,” says a disembodied voice caught by the Commons microphone.

MPs move to voting on the final Lords amendment. The result is expected at about 10.50pm.

Updated at 5.39pm EDT

11h ago 17:23

MPs are voting on whether or not the Lords’ fifth and final amendment to the Cooper-Letwin bill will be further amended. That move has been proposed by the Conservative MP, Bill Cash, who opposes the passage of the bill altogether.

    Labour Whips (@labourwhips)

    We expect the House of Commons to debate the #CooperLetwin Bill around 9pm for up to an hour, with votes at the end.
    April 8, 2019

    Faisal Islam (@faisalislam)

    First mainly ERG attempt to resist the Lords amendments to Cooper Letwin Bill heavily defeated by 396-83.

    Division now forced on Cash-Baker amendment seeking to rule out EU elections that were just announced in law by Government this morning...
    April 8, 2019

Updated at 5.52pm EDT

11h ago 17:18

The tellers are back in the Commons chamber. MPs have accepted amendments two and three by 396 votes to 83 – a majority of 313.

Next, we’re on to amendment four: It’s agreed on the nod.

Updated at 5.37pm EDT

11h ago 17:13

While MPs are voting, Daniel Kawczynski is on LBC radio explaining his decision to leave the hard Brexit-supporting Tory backbench ERG group this evening:

    Tom Swarbrick (@TomSwarbrick1)

    .@DKShrewsbury “some of my colleagues are...threatening #brexit.”

    “They (the “hardcore ERG) are the greatest impediment to #Brexit taking place.”

    “I have tried to make them see sense and realise that their actions are endangering #brexit. I have failed.”@LBC
    April 8, 2019

11h ago 17:00

The government has said it supports the Lords’ amendments to the Cooper-Letwin bill. The Speaker is now asking MPs whether they agree to them. They accept the first but reject the second and third, meaning the Commons will go to a vote.

A result is expected in about 10 minutes.

Here’s what MPs are voting on:

    Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW)

    In case you are wondering why we divided the Commons 👇
    April 8, 2019

After this vote, there are two more amendments to be considered before the bill can pass.

Updated at 5.53pm EDT

12h ago 16:59

The Tory MP, John Redwood, has just told the Commons:

    This Parliament needs to ... accept this (Brexit) was decided by the public, it was our duty to implement it. Leaving without this agreement is just going to be fine, we are prepared for it, business is ready for it, business has spent money, business has done whatever it needed to do and business now, in many cases, feels very let down that they are not being able to use all their contingencies, which they have spent good money on.

Some points to consider when reading those comments: The government’s no-deal Brexit analysis suggested such a scenario would likely produce huge delays at Dover, increased food prices and a £13bn extra cost to business.

On business’ preparedness, the analysis said:

    Despite communications from the government, there is little evidence that businesses are preparing in earnest for a no deal scenario, and evidence indicates that readiness of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular is low.

Business groups have called on MPs to provide certainty over Brexit by passing a deal:
Business leaders react with dismay to Brexit 'circus'

12h ago 16:45

Brexit-backing Tory MPs, among them Bill Cash and John Redwood, have made impassioned pleas for the Commons not to pass the Cooper-Letwin bill, which would instruct the prime minister to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

They have characterised the bill as an attempt to prevent the UK leaving the European Union because it would only allow for the UK to leave with a deal. And they have denounced the emergency bill, which is being rushed through parliament, as an attack on the UK’s constitutional norms and as anti-democratic.

Its supporters counter that it can hardly be considered undemocratic to pass a bill through both houses of parliament.

Updated at 5.53pm EDT

12h ago 16:06

MPs are now debating amendments to Cooper-Letwin. A result is expected within an hour or so.

    Labour Whips (@labourwhips)

    We expect the House of Commons to debate the #CooperLetwin Bill around 9pm for up to an hour, with votes at the end.
    April 8, 2019

Updated at 5.47pm EDT

13h ago 15:59

There’s been a split in the hard Brexit-supporting Tory backbench ERG group this evening: The MP, Daniel Kawczynski, has announced his resignation.

There have been recent rumblings of disquiet among the group; some of whom believe others are so determined to deliver the hardest of Brexits that they are actually imperiling the whole project. Kawczynski is one of them.

    Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury)

    Have decided to resign from ERG. Despite excellent Chairmanship by @Jacob_Rees_Mogg who has accommodated all views I can no longer be a member of caucas which is preventing WA4 from passing. Hardcore element of ‘Unicorn’ dreamers now actually endangering #Brexit
    April 8, 2019

Kawczynski voted against the deal the first two times it came to the Commons and for it the third. He is calling on MPs to back it in a fourth vote.

Updated at 4.18pm EDT

13h ago 15:00

The Cooper-Letwin bill has been given an unopposed third reading in the Lords and now goes back to the Commons.

The Leader of the Commons has said the government will not stand in its way and will schedule time for debate tomorrow if the bill gets royal assent this evening. But Andrea Leadsom has denounced the bill as a “huge dog’s dinner”.

She told MPs that it “seems inconceivable that Parliament has looked at this bill for the first time last Tuesday, and has had just a few hours of debate across both Houses”.

Updated at 5.53pm EDT

14h ago 14:47
Daniel Boffey

Daniel Boffey

Britain’s new exit date from the EU, and the conditions attached to a Brexit delay, will likely be fixed in the gilded rooms of the Belgian prime minister’s 16th century Egmont Palace hours before Theresa May addresses the leaders.

Under emerging plans, a small group of EU leaders whose countries will be most affected by the UK’s departure will be hosted by the Belgian PM, Charles Michel, on Wednesday afternoon. The guest list is likely to include the leaders of France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland.
UK's new Brexit date could be fixed by small group of EU leaders

14h ago 14:12

The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has had a phone call with Theresa May this evening. Varadkar spoke to May about her recent letter to Donald Tusk seeking an extension of the article 50 deadline and her ongoing preparations for the summit on Wednesday. The Taoiseach repeated his openness to an extension of the deadline.
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💩 No-Deal Brexit? Yes, if Macron Vetoes an Extension
« Reply #116 on: April 09, 2019, 02:56:16 AM »

No-Deal Brexit? Yes, if Macron Vetoes an Extension
By John O'Sullivan

April 8, 2019 5:00 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron in N.Y., September 26, 2018. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

This week European leaders will meet in solemn conclave, with and without Prime Minister Theresa May, to determine whether or not to extend the U.K.’s membership of the European Union and, if so, for how long. Brits have until recently paid relatively little attention to this occasion since it was generally agreed that the other EU members wanted the Brits to stay in. All doubts were on the British side, where a heated debate now seems to be moving towards a cross-party Con–Lab agreement to strike a pretend Brexit that would keep Britain inside most of the EU’s economic institutions, regulations, and tariffs for an indefinite period. There’s a lot to play for still — half the Tory party hates May’s deal — but for the moment the ball is in the court of Brussels.

And for the first time, one of the Europeans may say no. Not just any old European either, but the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

The actual choice before the European Council asks should Britain be allowed to remain in the EU for a short time (i.e., until June 30) ,to sign off on May’s withdrawal deal or nearest equivalent; or a long time (another year or even longer), to enable a different  deal to be negotiated; or no time at all, being shown the door on Friday. All Europeans except Macron favor some version of the first two options. If you’re interested in such matters, Wolfgang Munchau in today’s FT has an informative analysis that suggests that if Corbyn and May can agree on the general principles of leaving the EU, then the good ship BRINO (Brexit in Name Only) can sail between the Scylla of No Deal and the Charybdis of Another Referendum to reach an agreed departure date in December. Macron, however, is reportedly tired of these endless discussions and skeptical that the Brits will ever agree on a bipartisan deal that has public support and a chance of survival. He is thinking of exercising the French veto to prevent any extension at all, and so in effect bringing about a no-deal Brexit from outside.

That would delight the U.K. Brexiteers, horrify May and Remainers covert and overt, effectively end Britain’s long-running political crisis over Brexit, and put everyone in Britain on emergency stations to keep the roads busy, the ports open, and goods flowing in and out of the U.K. All that sounds fine to me and, according to the latest polls, to a modest majority of the Brits. Many would hail Macron as their country’s liberators. But they don’t vote in French elections. So the question is: Why would that be good for France and for Macron?
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💩 Theresa May visits Paris and Berlin to seek backing for Brexit delay
« Reply #117 on: April 10, 2019, 01:16:57 AM »
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💩 Brexit: Donald Tusk suggests 'flexible' delay of up to a year
« Reply #118 on: April 10, 2019, 01:35:31 AM »
Can Kick!


Brexit: Donald Tusk suggests 'flexible' delay of up to a year

European Council president Donald Tusk says the EU should consider offering the UK a "flexible" delay to Brexit of up to a year, with the option of leaving earlier if a deal is ratified.

He said there was "little reason to believe" a Brexit deal would be approved by the extension deadline UK PM Theresa May has requested - 30 June.

Writing to EU leaders, he said any delay should have conditions attached.

It is up to EU members to vote on the proposals at a summit on Wednesday.

A draft EU document circulated to diplomats ahead of the emergency summit also proposes an extension but leaves the date of the proposed new deadline blank.

The BBC's Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming said the document referred to an extension lasting "only as long as is necessary and, in any event, no longer than XX.XX.XXXX and ending earlier if the withdrawal agreement is ratified".

The UK is currently due to leave the EU at 23:00 BST on Friday.

So far, UK MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement Mrs May reached with other European leaders last year, so she is now asking for the leaving date to be extended.

Meanwhile, Mrs May has been meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin for talks ahead of the summit.

Afterwards, Ms Merkel said a delay that ran until the end of this year or the start of 2020 was a possibility.

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Mr Tusk said granting the 30 June extension that Mrs May is seeking "would increase the risk of a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates".

And if the European Council did not agree on an extension at all, "there would be a risk of an accidental no-deal Brexit", he said.

"One possibility would be a flexible extension, which would last only as long as necessary and no longer than one year, as beyond that date we will need to decide unanimously on some key European projects."
Media captionThere was no-one to greet the PM as she arrived to meet the German chancellor for Brexit talks in Berlin

Mr Tusk said the EU would need to agree on a number of conditions to be attached to any proposed extension, including that there would be no re-opening of negotiations on the withdrawal agreement.

He said the UK should be treated "with the highest respect" and "neither side should be allowed to feel humiliated".

BBC Europe editor Katya Adler said the EU's draft conclusions "should be taken with a big pinch of salt" as EU leaders could "rip up the conclusions and start again" on Wednesday.

She said the fact that the length of delay had been left blank in the conclusions shows EU leaders were still divided on the issue.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Theresa May met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris for last-minute talks ahead of Wednesday's EU summit

Downing Street said Mrs May had discussed the UK's request for an extension of Article 50 - the process by which the UK leaves the EU - until 30 June, with the option to make it shorter if a deal is ratified earlier, with both Ms Merkel and Mr Macron.

The prime minister and Chancellor Merkel agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain's orderly withdrawal, a statement said.

Mrs May and Mr Macron also discussed next month's European Parliamentary elections, with the prime minister saying the government was "working very hard" to avoid the need for the UK to take part as it is supposed to if it is still a member of the EU on 23 May.

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Following a meeting of the EU's General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, diplomats said "slightly more than a handful" of member states spoke in favour of delaying Article 50 until 30 June but the majority were in favour of a longer extension.

EU leaders are curious to hear the prime minister's Plan B. They hope there is one, although they're not convinced.

They want to know, if they say, "Yes," to another Brexit extension, what it will be used for.

And they suspect Theresa May wants them to do her dirty work for her.

EU diplomatic sources I have spoken to suggest the prime minister may have officially asked the EU for a short new extension (until 30 June) as that was politically easier for her back home, whereas she believed and hoped (the theory goes) that EU leaders will insist instead on a flexible long extension that she actually needs.

The bottom line is: EU leaders are extremely unlikely to refuse to further extend the Brexit process.

Read more from Katya

Meanwhile, the latest round of talks between Labour and the Conservatives aimed at breaking the impasse in Parliament have finished for the day with both sides expressing hope there would be progress.

They are hoping to reach compromise changes to the Brexit deal agreed by Mrs May that could be accepted by the Commons, with Labour pushing for the inclusion of a customs union.

That would allow tariff-free trade in goods with the EU but limit the UK from striking its own deals. Leaving the arrangement was a Conservative manifesto commitment.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the talks had been "open and constructive" but the sides differed on a "number of areas".

Labour's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said they were "hopeful progress will be made".

Further talks will be held on Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, MPs also approved a government motion for Mrs May to ask the EU to delay Brexit until June 30, required after a bill from Labour's Yvette Cooper became law.

If Labour and the government cannot agree on a way forward, Mrs May has promised to put a series of Brexit options to the Commons to vote on - with the government to be bound by the result.

These options could include holding another referendum on any Brexit deal agreed by Parliament.
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💩 Brexit: UK and EU agree delay to 31 October
« Reply #119 on: April 11, 2019, 02:31:48 AM »
To do this can kick, Parliament has to repeal Article 50 and the Brits have to vote reps in for EU Parliament.  Still moe drama to come.


Brexit: UK and EU agree delay to 31 October

    8 minutes ago

Media captionMay on Brexit extension: "The UK should have left the EU by now"

European Union leaders have granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit, after five hours of talks in Brussels.

The new deadline - 31 October - averts the prospect of the UK having to leave the EU without a deal on Friday, as MPs are still deadlocked over a deal.

European Council president Donald Tusk said his "message to British friends" was "please do not waste this time".

Theresa May, who had wanted a shorter delay, said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible.

The UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal.

The prime minister will later make a statement on the Brussels summit to the House of Commons, while talks with the Labour Party, aimed at reaching consensus on how to handle Brexit, are set to continue.

Mrs May tweeted: "The choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear. So we must now press on at pace with our efforts to reach a consensus on a deal that is in the national interest."

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So far, MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement Mrs May reached with other European leaders last year and they have voted against leaving the EU without a deal.

The EU has ruled out any renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.

Before the summit, Mrs May had told leaders she wanted to move the UK's exit date from this Friday to 30 June, with the option of leaving earlier if Parliament ratified her agreement.
What is the reaction in the UK?

For Labour, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Mrs May was being "inflexible" during negotiations with his party, and that, if this continued, "a public vote of some description, whether it's a general election or some sort of referendum, actually becomes necessary as a way out of this crisis".

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said one government minister had told her that the latest delay to Brexit could mean a Conservative Party leadership contest after Easter, with a new prime minister potentially in place by June.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "There's been no progress whatsoever, really."

He added that it was still "difficult to see how" Mrs May could get her deal with the EU through Parliament and said: "The pressure on her to go will increase dramatically now, I suspect."
What was agreed?

    A Brexit extension "only as long as necessary" and "no longer than 31 October" to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement
    The UK "must hold the elections to the European Parliament" and if it fails to do this, the UK will leave on 1 June
    The European Council reiterates there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations

Read the EU's conclusions here.
What was the EU's message?

Donald Tusk emerged from the talks - and a subsequent meeting with Mrs May - to address reporters at a news conference at 02:15 local time (01:15 BST).

"The course of action will be entirely in the UK's hands," he said. "They can still ratify the withdrawal agreement, in which case the extension can be terminated."
Media captionTusk on Brexit extension: "Please do not waste this time"

Mr Tusk said the UK could also rethink its strategy or choose to "cancel Brexit altogether".

He added: "Let me finish with a message to our British friends: This extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it's still enough to find the best possible solution. Please do not waste this time."
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Jean-Claude Juncker - who is due to leave his job on 1 November - joked that if there is a late-night meeting on the 31 October he "may have to leave at midnight"

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "There will probably be a European election in the UK - that might seem a bit odd, but rules are rules and we must respect European law and then we will see what happens."
What was Theresa May's response?

Mrs May spoke to reporters at 02:45 local time (01:45 BST). She said that although the delay extends until 31 October, the UK can leave before then if MPs pass her withdrawal deal.

"I know that there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension," she said. "The UK should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not yet been able to persuade Parliament to approve a deal."

She added: "I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy, or there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament. But we have a duty as politicians to find a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward. Nothing is more pressing or more vital."

The PM said the UK would "continue to hold full membership rights and obligations [of the EU]" during the delay.
Trick or treat? Halloween deadline is both

You couldn't quite make it up. The new Brexit deadline is, you guessed it, Halloween.

So to get all the terrible metaphors about horror shows, ghosts and ghouls out of the way right now, let's consider straight away some of the reasons why this decision is a treat in one sense, but could be a trick too.

A treat? First and most importantly, the EU has agreed to put the brakes on. We will not leave tomorrow without a deal.

The prime minister's acceptance that leaving the EU without a formal arrangement in place could be a disaster won out.

And there are quite a few potential tricks. This new October deadline might not solve very much at all.

This could, although I hate to say it, just make way for months of extra gridlock before the UK and the EU find themselves back here in a similar situation in the autumn.

Read Laura's blog here
How did the EU leaders decide?

The EU had been split over the length of delay to offer the UK and by law its other 27 member states had to reach a unanimous decision.

Although other countries backed a longer delay, French President Emmanuel Macron pushed for a shorter extension.

The BBC's Katya Adler said that the date of 31 October was an indication that Mr Macron had "won the day", as his was the most hard-line voice in the room.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Macron said: "For me, this is a good solution."
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption German Chancellor Angela Merkel had argued for a longer delay

He said EU leaders had partly decided to back a delay because Mrs May had explained she had started talks with Labour - "a first in decades in the British political system".

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said the extension gave the UK time "to come to a cross-party agreement".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her "relief" that the UK wouldn't be "crashing out" on Friday, adding that "allowing people to decide if they still want to leave is now imperative".
Risk of no-deal postponed

Fudge and can-kicking are the EU-familiar words that spring to mind at the end of this Brexit summit.

After all the drama and speculation leading up to the meeting, effectively all that happened here is that the threat of a no-deal Brexit has been postponed for another six months.

Time enough for the EU to hold European parliamentary elections, choose a new president of the European Commission and pass a new budget - without EU leaders having to keep one eye at least on the day-to-day dramas in the House of Commons.

Despite EU leaders' rhetoric beforehand, they granted this extension without hearing a convincing plan of Brexit action from Theresa May.

In the summit conclusions there is no evidence of the punitive safeguards mooted to ensure the UK "behaves itself" - refraining from blocking EU decisions - as long as it remains a club member.

Yes, EU leaders worry about who might replace Theresa May as prime minister. Yes, they're concerned these six months could fly past with the UK as divided as ever but their message to the UK tonight was: "We've done our bit. Now you do yours. It's up to you. Please use the time well."
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