Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

May to meet European Union leaders in bid to save Brexit deal

May to meet European Union leaders in bid to save Brexit deal

European Council president Donald Tusk announced that Brexit has been added to the agenda of a two-day EU summit in Brussels taking place on Thursday and Friday.

Prime Minister Theresa May after the vote.

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.

They argued May was facing a parliamentary defeat of historic proportions and needed to roll the dice. And he stressed that the chief negotiators were in Brussels, not the German capital.

The upheaval in the United Kingdom parliament was reflected in the currency markets, where the pound was worth 1.10 euros yesterday evening, a 20-month low.

The Government was also looking at "new ways of empowering the House of Commons" to ensure that any provision for a backstop has "democratic legitimacy and to enable the House to place its own obligations on the Government to ensure that the backstop can not be in place indefinitely", said Mrs May. The comments provoked laughter and jeering from lawmakers.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said further talks with Brussels would focus on the Brexit "backstop" on the Irish border, which Mrs May earlier admitted had caused MPs "widespread and deep concern".

"The delayed vote in the UK Parliament meant more uncertainties going into the endgame of this historic occasion for the UK".

The Good Law Project, one of the parties making a case for a second referendum, said in a statement, "It can be, legally, like the decision to Brexit was just a bad dream".

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn dubbed the postponement a humiliation.

The Prime Minister confirmed the delay in the House of Commons this afternoon, saying she believed she could still win a vote after winning further reassurance on the Irish backstop. "The government is in disarray...and people are in a state of despair".

Her whistle-stop tour came on the day that British lawmakers had been scheduled to vote on Brexit.

"They also agreed that preparations for a "no deal" outcome should intensify", it said.

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The European commission is to publish fresh no-deal warnings next week. She told MPs no deal with Europe was possible without a backstop clause in the agreement. Tusk has also ruled out renegotiating the Brexit deal.

"If we can have clarity on these points, it would help a lot to speed up these negotiations", he said.

"But we have to prepare", the Commission president added. The European Parliament's coordinator with the EU's negotiators, Guy Verhofstadt, voiced frustration, saying "I can't follow this anymore". "It's time they make up their mind!" A European court ruled this week that Britain could abandon Brexit with no consequences up until the moment it finally leaves.

Juncker repeated that neither side wanted ever to use a "backstop" that would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU in the absence of a better way to avoid extensive border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

That provision angers the province's pro-British Unionists, who fear Northern Ireland's ties with London will be diminished.

European Union leaders have steadfastly refused to allow any further changes to Theresa May's Brexit deal but pressure from the House of Commons has forced the PM to go back for changes anyway.

Northern Ireland's Unionists aren't the only ones furious with May over the deal, and doubtful the delay would change anything substantially.

That, according to British junior Brexit minister Martin Callanan, is what May wants.

"Does this House want to deliver Brexit?".

Even loyalist lawmakers voiced privately how stunned they were at the course of events and May's indecision.

In my opinion, is important, as the Prime Minister said repeatedly, to obtain new guarantees required by the Parliament.

The British public voted to leave the June 2016, with the separation due to become official on March 29 of next year.

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