Published: Wed, April 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Brexit: UK MPs push to prevent no-deal in law

Brexit: UK MPs push to prevent no-deal in law

British Prime Minister Theresa May held crisis talks with her ministers Tuesday to try to resolve a months-long Brexit deadlock, as the European Union warned of the growing risk of disorderly departure from the bloc next week.

With just 11 days until the United Kingdom must come up with a new plan or crash out of the bloc in chaos, the House of Commons on Monday threw out four options created to replace May's thrice-rejected Brexit deal - though in some cases it was close.

Another option is that Theresa May goes to the European Union leaders meeting on April 10 and asks for another extension so that she can resign, and hold an election in the hope that a new government can sort the mess out.

The deadlock has already delayed Brexit for at least two weeks beyond the planned departure date to 2200 GMT on April 12.

Speaking in Brussels, Barnier said there is still hope to avoid a so-called no-deal Brexit.

Today, May will hold a five-hour Cabinet meeting to finalise her next moves. It was unclear what, if anything, had been agreed.

The leaders of the EU's 27 remaining countries have given the United Kingdom until April 12 to leave the bloc or to come up with a new plan, after lawmakers thrice rejected an agreement struck between the bloc and May late a year ago.

The defeat of May's deal after pledging to quit if it was passed has left the weakest British leader in a generation facing a spiraling crisis. Passions are running high on all sides of the argument, but we can and must find the compromises that will deliver what the British people voted for. But its also potentially good news for May and her chances of getting her unloved deal through Parliament at the fourth attempt.

The EU's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said it would be "really the best thing that could happen", On this basis, a "new political statement can then be approved at a European summit on 10 April and then we will give the British the opportunity to formalise it in English legislation by 22 May". May remained opposed to another referendum, he added.

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Almost three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a shock referendum result, British politics is in crisis and it is unclear how, when or if it will ever leave the European club it first joined in 1973.

Exit without a deal would affect trade and travel overnight, with new checks on borders and new regulations on dealings between Britain and the 27 remaining European Union nations.

"It's up to London to say it, and to say it now", he said.

With the British electorate, its two major parties and the cabinet are all divided over Brexit, May risks ripping her party apart whichever way she tilts.

Investors and diplomats are in despair at the chaos, and such is the volatility of Brexit news from London that some traders have stepped away from sterling, which has seesawed on Brexit news since the 2016 referendum.

Sterling fell towards $1.30. But it was linked to the overall agreement that hasn't won approval in Parliament, so "there is no transition if there is no deal", Barnier said.

Barring that, Parliament could try to take drastic action such as toppling the government or legislating to force it to avoid "no-deal" - though these are risky and tricky options.

The pro-Brexit hardliners are still holding out for a no-deal exit - they want a clean break - but if the bill takes that option off the table the choice they will face will be stark: a long extension which could end up reversing Brexit altogether, or May's compromise deal.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

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