United Kingdom government downplays suggestion it will seek Brexit delay

United Kingdom government downplays suggestion it will seek Brexit delay

United Kingdom government downplays suggestion it will seek Brexit delay

But the Brexit secretary said May was "very clear that we are committed to leaving on March 29".

British broadcaster ITV reported comments overheard during a private conversation in a bar in Brussels, in which Britain's lead Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins said May planned to wait until the end of March to present MPs with a choice between her deal or a long extension of the March 29 Brexit deadline.

The group including Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Tory former ministers Sir Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles said their plan was created to prevent the country drifting into a no-deal Brexit "by accident".

The British government denied on February 13 it was secretly plotting to force MPs into a last-minute choice on Brexit between a rejigged deal or a lengthy delay.

But members of the backbench European Research Group say that it effectively endorses another amendment approved by MPs the same day, which rules out no-deal but is not binding on the Government.

His interpretation was denied by Mrs May's spokesman who said: "No-deal is an eventuality we wish to avoid, but one we continue to plan for".

Theresa May is braced for another damaging defeat in the Commons on Thursday after Tory Eurosceptics accused her of ruling out a no deal Brexit.

Ms Cooper said: "This bill creates a Parliamentary safeguard to prevent us drifting into no-deal by accident, and to prevent those crucial decisions being left until the final fortnight".

"Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March".

"I don't think that there is any mileage for the Prime Minister or the Government in trying to do a deal with Labour because they will just try to trap Theresa May", he said at a launch event at Westminster.

But the prime minister again ruled out the prospect of the United Kingdom remaining in the EU's customs union, the main demand of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

An amendment from Labour MP Roger Godsiff calls for an extension of the two-year Brexit negotiation period to allow for a second referendum.

And a cross-party initiative backed by Conservative Anna Soubry and Labour's Chuka Umunna demands that the Government publish its most recent official briefing on the implications of a no-deal Brexit for business and trade.

European Union leaders have turned down May's plea to renegotiate parts of the legally binding Brexit withdrawal bill, making the no-deal outcome more likely even though both sides believe it would harm their economies.

Addressing the House of Commons a fortnight after MPs voted for her to go back to Brussels and replace the controversial Irish border backstop, Mrs May acknowledged that she would need "some time" to hold talks with the EU.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve warned on Tuesday that time was running short for the ratification of a deal under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

The EU insists it won't renegotiate the legally binding withdrawal agreement, though it is still holding talks with Britain about potential tweaks to a non-binding political declaration that accompanies it.

Following meetings with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel she told reporters: "We feel obligated to do everything for a deal, but it certainly it has to be a fair deal. and there we unfortunately still have a bit of work ahead of us".

"(It) is to make sure that parliamentarians have had ample opportunity to look at the deal she's putting forward before it comes to that meaningful vote".

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