Momentum gathers behind British MPs’ bid to stop no-deal Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – An try by British lawmakers to prevent a no-deal Brexit was gaining momentum on Wednesday after the opposition Labour Party mentioned it was extremely more likely to throw its parliamentary weight behind the bid.

FILE PHOTO: An anti-Brexit protester is seen outdoors the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

The United Kingdom, within the deepest political disaster since World War Two, is due based on legislation to depart the European Union at 2300 GMT on March 29, but it has no authorized deal on how the divorce will happen.

Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to interrupt the impasse after final week’s crushing defeat of her two-year try and forge an orderly divorce raised the prospect of an exit and not using a deal.

In a step that could overturn centuries of constitutional conference, some MPs are attempting to seize management of Brexit from the government in an try and prevent what they are saying can be an economically disastrous no-deal departure.

The opposition Labour Party appears to be like set to again one such try, an modification proposed by Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper that could lead to May being given till Feb. 26 to get a deal authorized by parliament or face a parliamentary vote on delaying Brexit.

John McDonnell, the second strongest determine within the celebration, instructed the BBC the modification was wise, and that Labour was “extremely probably” to again it. At least 9 Conservative MPs have additionally publicly mentioned they’ll assist it, suggesting that it has likelihood of passing.


Sterling strengthened 0.5 % against the greenback GBP=D3 to $1.3024, the best stage since mid-November, on a view {that a} no-deal Brexit may be averted if parliament exerts higher management over the method. It additionally rose for a 3rd consecutive day against the euro EURGBP=D3 to 87.33 pence. [GBP/]

As the United Kingdom’s tortuous two-and-a-half year disaster over EU membership approaches its finale, the potential outcomes for the world’s fifth largest financial system nonetheless embody a no-deal Brexit, a last-minute deal, a delay or a snap election.

May has mentioned thwarting Brexit would threaten social cohesion as a result of it could undermine religion in British democracy, whereas police have mentioned the “febrile” ambiance could be exploited by far-right extremists.

Parliament will vote on Jan. 29 on completely different choices put ahead by MPs, potentially opening a manner out of the stalemate.

If the Cooper modification is handed, it could successfully give parliament the facility to set May a deadline of Feb. 26 to get a deal by parliament.

If May fails, parliament can be given a vote on asking the EU for a postponement of the Article 50 deadline to prevent Britain leaving and not using a deal on March 29. It proposes a nine-month extension, to Dec. 31.


Another various is that May will get sufficient concessions from the EU to win over rebels in her Conservative Party in addition to the Northern Irish celebration that props up her minority government.

Some have indicated they could be gained over if May manages to safe concessions on the so-called Northern Irish backstop, an insurance coverage policy to maintain the border open between the British province and Ireland if a future commerce deal falls quick.

However, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans instructed an occasion in Poland on Wednesday that “We will assist Ireland … the backstop is a purple line we can not negotiate with the British government”.

More than 430 MPs voted against May’s deal final week, the largest defeat of a government in trendy historical past. To get it handed this time, she wants greater than 100 of these to vary sides.

To win concessions from the EU, although, May must set out precisely how she hopes to unravel the Brexit riddle.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici mentioned in Davos that the danger of a no-deal Brexit had elevated and it was as much as the British to inform the EU how they proposed to interrupt the deadlock.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell takes half in a Q&A with the media in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

“The gravity of the state of affairs lies in the truth that London is silent,” one EU diplomat mentioned.

“They aren’t asking for something, making no particular calls for, not even to increase Article 50, it’s silence on their finish,” the diplomat mentioned. “Time is extraordinarily tight.”

Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Andrew MacAskill in London; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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