United Kingdom government downplays suggestion it will seek Brexit delay

United Kingdom government downplays suggestion it will seek Brexit delay

In an admission that some countries have sought to extract a high price for their continuing to trade with Britain after leaving the EU, Liam Fox, the global trade secretary, said some nations had made the requests as part of talks.

Olly Robbins was overheard in Brussels by ITV News saying that MPs would be made to believe that any further rejection of her deal would lead to the two-year Article 50 exit period being extended by a "long" time.

The group, including Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, have said they are ready to table an amendment enabling parliament to force ministers to seek a delay if there is no deal in place.

The announcement came as Mrs May urged MPs to "hold their nerve" and support her efforts to secure a withdrawal deal which will deliver Brexit on time.

The UK government argues that the best way to avoid no deal is for MPs to back the prime minister's proposals, which it says are "the best deal available for jobs and the economy across the whole of the UK, allowing us to honour the referendum and realise the opportunities of Brexit".

The delayed vote means that May's government will have very little time to pass the legislation required to ratify the deal, meaning that a short extension of the Article 50 process is now likely.

In this image taken from video, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May gives a statement about progress on Brexit talks to members of parliament in the the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2019.

"It is the only way of giving the House of Commons the time to produce a consensus about a positive way forward if the PM can not get her deal through by mid-March".

After talks in Strasbourg at the European Parliament, U.K. Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said there was "a lot of goodwill on both sides" to achieve a deal.

"I agree that the longer this goes on, the more risky it gets, obviously", Stewart said.

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He said German exports to the United Kingdom had fallen by about 10 per cent in real terms since the 2016 referendum and predicted German GDP could be 0.2 to 0.5 per cent lower in the long term because of Brexit.

None are expected to win enough support to pass, with lawmakers who are seeking to force the government to delay Brexit saying they will wait until the next round of votes May has promised on February 27 to make their move.

If a deal is agreed, MPs will have a second "meaningful vote", more than a month after Mrs May's deal was rejected in the first one.

In a statement updating the Commons on progress in talks, Mrs May acknowledged she would need "some time" to seek legally-binding changes from the European Union to the controversial backstop for the Irish border.

With less than 50 days to go to Brexit day on March 29, British firms still have no idea what the country's new trading relationship with the European Union will look like, so they're taking a safety-first approach.

The EU insists it won't renegotiate the legally binding withdrawal agreement, though it is still holding talks with Britain about potential tweaks to a non-binding political declaration that accompanies it.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested she was "running down the clock" on Brexit in the hope that MPs will be "blackmailed" by the fear of a no-deal scenario into supporting a "deeply flawed" agreement.

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