Archive for the ‘Article 50’ Category

Theresa May appeasing hard-Brexit Tories, ministers warn

Key supporters of soft Brexit excluded from talks as PM seeks support for deal

Soft-Brexit cabinet ministers fear that Theresa May is determined to appease hardline leavers rather than reach out across the House of Commons, after key figures were excluded from discussions with other ministers.

May spoke to senior figures including the home secretary, Sajid Javid, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, and the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt.

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Mordaunt urges May to prepare for no-deal as PM consults cabinet

No 10 says May is meeting ministers throughout day to prepare for plan B statement

Theresa May will hold meetings with members of her cabinet in Downing Street to try to forge a route through the Brexit impasse, as one of her ministers suggested her withdrawal agreement could be improved if the UK was prepared properly to leave with no deal.

May was meeting a large number of cabinet ministers either individually or in small groups throughout the day, Downing Street said, adding that she did not intend to speak to any opposition or backbench Conservative MPs.

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Shocked diplomats suggest EU would extend Brexit deadline

European envoys in London say depth of UK turmoil has taken them by surprise

Phone lines and encrypted emails from EU embassies in London to their capitals have been red hot this week as diplomats seek to make sense of the chaos in the British parliament over Brexit.

Some diplomats admit their primary response has been sheer shock at the depth of the turmoil.

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Brexiters optimistic that May will stand firm on customs union

Meetings held at Downing Street on Thursday to find way to break Brexit impasse

Brexiter Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist party emerged upbeat from their meetings with Theresa May in Downing Street, convinced that the prime minister was not intending to soften her position to try to attract Labour votes.

Those who met with the prime minister on Thursday said that she gave little away but that she indicated she wanted the UK to be able to strike its own trade deals after Brexit, meaning that she was not going to soften her stance on leaving the customs union.

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Tory MP plans bill to make no-deal Brexit legally impossible

Pro-remain cabinet ministers back bid to block EU departure without deal, Nick Boles says

Soft Brexit cabinet ministers are quietly backing a parliamentary bid to make it legally impossible for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on 29 March, the Conservative MP behind the bid has claimed.

The bill tabled by the former minister Nick Boles would force the government to delay the UK departure from the EU unless a consensus could be found by early March. That would in effect make it impossible for the government to legally leave the EU without a deal on 29 March.

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May to Corbyn: Ruling out no deal Brexit is ‘impossible condition’

Ruling out a no-deal Brexit is an “impossible” precondition for participation in cross-party talks to resolve the political deadlock, Theresa May told opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in a letter published today.

After the prime minister survived a no confidence motion on Wednesday night Corbyn told MPs he would not enter into talks with her unless she ruled out a no-deal Brexit.

In her letter to the opposition leader, she said this was “an impossible condition because it is not within the Government’s power to rule out no deal.”

The prime minister argued there were “two ways to avoid a no deal” which were either “to vote for a deal, in particular a Withdrawal Agreement, that has been agreed with the EU or to revoke article 50 and overturn the referendum.” The latter option she said was “wrong.”

She added that the EU would not agree to extend Article 50 in order to give the UK more time to debate Brexit.

May said she would “sincerely urge” Corbyn to accept her offer for talks, stressing her “doors would remain open.”

In a speech in Hastings this morning, Corbyn called May’s talks with opposition leaders a “stunt.”

“With no deal on the table the prime minister will enter into phoney talks just to run down the clock,” he said.


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The Guardian view on the Brexit impasse: extend article 50 now | Editorial

Parliament needs more time to craft a new approach and avoid no-deal after Theresa May’s policy was swept aside

First, some good news. Theresa May is consulting party leaders and talking to MPs about the next steps on Brexit. About time too, though it is all frighteningly late. Now, the bad news. She isn’t doing the consulting properly. She is using the process to trade partisan attacks with Jeremy Corbyn rather than to start solving problems. It feels like a stunt. Such irresponsibility on a subject of such magnitude threatens the country. It must change.

On Wednesday evening, and again on Thursday, the prime minister held meetings with a variety of politicians. She was said to be in listening mode. So she should be. But there was little sense – in an invite list that stretched from the anti-European Tory right and the DUP to pro-Europeans in the opposition parties – that this was a process which recognised that the politics of Brexit crossed a watershed on Tuesday night when Mrs May’s deal was so humiliatingly defeated.

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