Theresa May Pledges £1.6b Fund For Brexit-backing Towns

Theresa May Pledges £1.6b Fund For Brexit-backing Towns

"Ministers must now drop their red lines on Brexit and embark on a fresh approach to the negotiations with the EU - based around a new customs union that protects jobs, secures opportunities for our industries, and removes the need for a hard border in Ireland".

It comes as a senior Brexiteer pointed to MPs' growing mood for compromise.

Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, expressed optimism that a breakthrough was close.

He added: "We know what is needed to shift the logjam".

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Attorney General continues to pursue legally binding changes to the backstop that are necessary to ensure it can not be indefinite".

The Trade Bill, which focuses on transposing outside countries' trade deals with the European Union into bilateral deals with Britain, is due to be passed before Britain leaves the bloc on March 29.

But if she fails she will need the support of Labour Party lawmakers who represent constituencies that voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

She has offered lawmakers the chance to seek to prevent a no-deal departure and to delay Brexit if Parliament rejects the deal in a vote she has promised to hold by March 12.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that the bloc was ready to give Britain more guarantees that the backstop was only meant to be temporary and used for a "worst-case scenario".

Brexiteers outline EU deal terms

The group wants a legally binding, treaty level arrangement, the language must not just simply reiterate the temporary nature of the backstop, and there "needs to be a clear and unconditional route out" of the arrangement.

"This funding is there regardless of the outcome, but obviously we want to see a deal happening, we believe that is what is in the best interests of our country", he said, adding that it "leaving no part of our United Kingdom behind" was what May really believed in. She has to oppose anyone trying to take it off the table and to reject an extension.

YouGov surveyed more than 5,000 people across the region who supported the Labour leader at the 2017 general election, asked whether they support his decision to back a "People's Vote" on Brexit. And there are a variety of views within the ERG itself, with some leading figures taking a more hardline approach than others.

He told reporters: "We are into the meat of the matter now".

But pro-Brexit Labour lawmaker John Mann, who has discussed the funding plan with May, said it meant 'new money, which will need a lot more from existing sources of funds and the replacement for European Union structural funds.

May's government is also preparing to announce greater guarantees for workers' rights after Brexit, again in a bid to get Labour MPs onside.

John McDonnell, the finance spokesperson of the opposition Labour Party, said that the fund was "Brexit bribery".

"I think that they are beginning to realise that we can get a majority in parliament because they are seeing the signals coming from the people who voted against the deal before who are saying, crucially, that they are prepared to be reasonable about how we get to that position that we can't legally be trapped in the backstop".


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