Published: Thu, March 07, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

UK’s May courts support for Brexit deal with workers’ rights offer

UK’s May courts support for Brexit deal with workers’ rights offer

Given the risks, British MPs last week agreed to give May more time to seek changes from Brussels, but if she can not get her deal passed by March 12, she has agreed to let parliament vote for a Brexit delay. "If we can't get that we will have to break the logjam by going back to the people".

Britain's Department for International Trade said in response to the report that no final decision had been made on tariffs, but there had been discussion across government about the right level of tariffs following a no-deal Brexit.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is in talks with EU officials on changes to the Irish backstop clause - seen as the sticking point for many Tories - which could tie the United Kingdom to EU customs union until a permanent trade deal has been agreed. "But from day one we have been very straight about a few things and among those is that Brexit can not lead, under any circumstances, to the emergence of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland".

Britain is due to leave the European Union in 24 days, but parliament's rejection of May's deal earlier this year has put in doubt how, when or possibly even if Britain's biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years will take place.

With the PM set to hold a "meaningful vote" on her Brexit plan by 12 March, she was accused of trying to "buy" the support of Labour MPs in Leave seats with the funding for deprived towns.

"How we get there is something we're prepared to be flexible about", Hunt said.

He told BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I think that to attempt to have a delay mechanism in order to thwart the process of Brexit itself is actually politically completely unacceptable".

In a further sign that former opponents of May's deal might now back a revised version, Graham Brady, a senior Conservative lawmaker, said he would support it with legally binding assurances on the backstop.

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However, he added: "Once we have that, my colleagues in Parliament need to recognise the strength of feeling".

"The whole country is exhausted of vacillation and delay", he wrote in the Mail on Sunday, adding that "this is not a time to make the best the enemy of the good".

Britain's withdrawal from the European Union is scheduled for March 29.

A long extension could also be problematic for the EU, given the European Parliament elections in May, which Britain would either have to take part in or be out of the EU before the new assembly convenes in early July. The group also wants attorney general Geoffrey Cox to rewrite official legal advice that says the backstop would "endure indefinitely" if no other way is found to keep a soft border in Ireland.

The EU isn't convinced, and instead is pushing for a solution based on arbitration.

But Britain's main opposition Labour Party described the fund as a "desperate bribe" by May's government to win support from Members of Parliament for her Brexit proposals.

Leaving Brussels on Wednesday morning, Cox told Sky News: "I can't reveal the discussions".

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