United Kingdom could seek extension to Brexit transition, says Theresa May
- Author: Rogelio Becker Oct 24, 2018,
Oct 24, 2018, 1:47
Cabinet members met today to discuss a no-deal Brexit as experts warned that leaving the European Union will hit Britain's ability to tackle serious and organised crime and import medicines as well as hurt the scientific community.
Her opponents had spent the weekend claiming they were close to gathering sufficient support to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, with Wednesday's meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs being billed as a make-or-break moment for her leadership.
But May's room for maneuver is limited by pressure from pro-Brexit Conservatives and her government's Northern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party, who oppose any more compromises with the EU.
According to her prepared remarks, May will say "95 per cent of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled", with significant progress in "the last three weeks alone".
This would increase to 100 percent under the backstop, he added, but a later animal-health agreement could reduce the proportion inspected to 40 percent.
May has been recently been facing a surge in criticism from European Union supporters as well as from euroskeptics within her own party about her role in Brexit negotiations. "I see any extension, or being in any form of backstop, as undesirable".
It will mean not giving in to those who want to stop Brexit with a politician's vote.
"But we won't sacrifice Northern Ireland, and we must have finality to any backstop - whether through a time-limit or a mechanism that enables the United Kingdom to leave, in case the European Union doesn't live up to its promise to get the future relationship in place swiftly".
Several Conservative Brexit MPs as well as opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn asked pointed questions - which were not answered - about how much extending the transition period would cost the UK.
To make the prime minister's week even more hard, she is facing the threat of rebellion from over 40 Conservative MPs if she does not bow to new demands over the backstop within the next 48 hours, the Times reports.
It follows a suggestion by UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab that the UK transition period could be extended as "an alternative to the backstop". "The Brexit mood music remains negative for the Pound, which could fall more sharply if a leadership challenge materialises in the coming months", says Hardman in a briefing to clients.
Organizers handed out postcards for people to write to their local lawmakers demanding a final say on the Brexit deal, rather than relying on Parliament to approve it.
Baker had been planning to launch a rebellion against the government by proposing an amendment to the Northern Ireland bill which was to go before parliament tomorrow but has dropped his stance on May's reassurances.