Friday, 18 January, 2019

Britain is not planning to extend Article 50, Brexit Secretary says

Theresa May is back at work in Downing Street after her Christmas break Theresa May is back at work in Downing Street after her Christmas break
Theresa Hayes | 10 January, 2019, 04:19

Bercow was accused of not being impartial after accepting an amendment which would force the government to publish its Brexit "plan B" within three days of a defeat on its deal, not the previously agreed 21 days.

"But it is also the intention if that were not to take place, that we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward following that vote".

308 MPs voted for - compared to 297 MPs who voted against - an amendment made by Remainer Tory MP Dominic Grieve, requiring the Government to set out its alternative suggestion no more than three days after a defeat in the "meaningful vote".

The government has recently made much-publicised preparations for leaving without a deal, with Britain legally due to leave the European Union on Mar 29, regardless of whether May's deal is approved.

"The appropriate time to table a motion of no confidence in the government is when the government loses its key legislation and no longer commands a majority in the House of Commons".

Pro-EU Conservative politician Dominic Grieve, who proposed the measure, said it was meant to speed up decisions, to help avoid a no-deal Brexit and "the calamitous consequences that would follow on from it".

"The threat of a no deal Brexit has [been] cynically used by the government for many months as part of their campaign to bully and intimidate Parliament into voting for a bad deal that would leave us worse off and offers less control", Murray said in a statement on the People's Vote website, adding that Tuesday's events demonstrated that Parliament "can still act decisively".

He added: "I don't think that's what parliamentarians want".

While a majority of MPs may vote to take a "no deal" Brexit off the table, that would not legally oblige Mrs May's government to do so.

It looks like the government's charm offensive, created to win over the DUP, is dead on arrival.

But, these were immediately rejected by the Tories' DUP allies, who prop up Mrs May's government at Westminster.

Sammy Wilson, the party's Brexit spokesman, said the only thing that could swing the DUP around is if the backstop were removed.

But if her efforts fail, many fear Britain could leave the European Union with no deal, with potentially disastrous legal and economic consequences. May told lawmakers that parliament had a choice: back her or risk Britain leaving the bloc without a deal - a scenario many businesses say would splinter supply chains and hamper investment in the world's fifth largest economy.

UK Brexit minister Martin Callanan ruled out that prospect and said May would update MPs on Wednesday about the assurances over the backstop she is seeking from the EU.

"I don't think the British public are served by fantasies about magical, alternative deals that are somehow going to spring out of a cupboard in Brussels", Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington told BBC radio.

"We're all focused in the government on winning parliamentary support in the vote that's coming up next week", he told reporters as he arrived at the meeting in Brussels.

Some investors and major banks believe May's deal will be defeated on January 8 but that eventually it will be approved.