Published: Tue, December 11, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Theresa May pulls plug on UK Brexit vote

Theresa May pulls plug on UK Brexit vote

They have accused her of showing contempt for Parliament and have written to her expressing concern about her sudden cancellation of a crunch Commons vote on the Brexit deal that was due to be held today. But he also warned that the European Union would forge ahead with preparing for there being no deal at all as it faces a Britain that seems incapable of forging a majority opinion on what kind of Brexit it wants - or even if it wants to leave at all.

May's domestic critics want a time limit on the backstop, but Dublin and its EU allies insist that it must be able to be used until some better way is found to avoid customs checks on the EU-UK land border while letting Britain escape EU rules. "If the answer is yes - and I believe that is the answer of the majority of this house - then we all have to ask ourselves whether we are prepared to make a compromise".

Tory sources yesterday said Mrs May had reluctantly agreed to delay the planned Brexit vote after being warned that up to 100 Conservative MPs planned to vote against it, condemning her to a potentially career-ending defeat.

Mrs May said she would seek "reassurances" from the European Union on certain aspects of the deal, including its most contentious element - a "backstop" for the Northern Ireland frontier.

The prime minister told MPs on Monday that a number of European leaders had "indicated that they are open to discussions to find a way to provide reassurance" over the backstop.

And Mr Tusk pointed out in a tweet that time for discussion was running out.

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with the president of the commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Sunday to give him "an update on the state of play" as she prepares to take the deal to parliament. The backstop is an arrangement created to ensure there is no return to a "hard border" between Ireland, which will remain part of the European Union after Brexit, and Northern Ireland when the United Kingdom leaves the bloc next March.

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May will first go to The Hague for talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte before meeting Merkel in Berlin, as she struggles to unite British lawmakers behind her faltering plan.

In light of Mrs May's decision to pull the vote and a growing possibility of a "no-deal" Brexit, Ireland's Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, said the UK's close neighbour would ramp up its plans for a no-deal Brexit.

The Press Association news agency and other British media outlets said May had chose to postpone the vote scheduled for Tuesday.

The decision to delay the vote is yet to be officially announced but was widely reported in the British media after May held a conference call with senior ministers on Monday morning.

Conservative Party lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg sharply rejected May's "undeliverable deal", saying it risked paving the way for a Labour Party government led by Corbyn. Her actions show contempt for parliament.

"We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful", a party spokesperson said.

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