Prime Minister calls on MPs to ‘hold their nerve’ on Brexit
Feb 13 2019
The political manoeuvring comes amid strong signs that uncertainty over Brexit is already clamping down on Britain's economic growth. As the United Kingdom barrels towards a no-deal (there are seriously only *45 days* until we are due to leave the EU), the prime minister once again tried to reassure us that nothing has changed.
Elsewhere Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay was said to have held "constructive" talks on Monday night with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. That's a worst-case scenario that the Bank of England has said could see the British economy shrink by 8 per cent within months and house prices collapse by around a third as trade barriers like tariffs are put up on EU-U.K trade.
Some of Mrs May's cabinet colleagues also quashed the idea, with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox calling Mr Corbyn's proposal a "dangerous delusion".
She'll say that if she hasn't brought them new deal by February 27, there will then be another opportunity to vote, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire confirmed in an interview.
May wants to win over lawmakers in her Conservative Party with changes relating to the Northern Irish border, but the EU has refused to reopen that part of the deal and instead wants May to pursue a compromise with the main opposition Labour Party by agreeing closer UK-EU ties.
Mr Corbyn's demand is for a customs union that gives the United Kingdom a say on future trade deals the EU might strike - something Brussels appears unlikely to accept. He said Mrs May's agreement would achieve most of Mr Corbyn's goals without preventing independent trade deals.
As I received the Prime Minister's letter yesterday in response to Labour's Brexit plan it became clearer to me that the Prime Minister is merely engaged in the pretence of working across Parliament to find solutions.
For ages, the existence of that bill has built a theoretical pause between a vote on the deal, and our actual departure from the EU.
No wonder trade union leaders like Tim Roache of the GMB and Frances O'Grady of the TUC have rejected the Prime Minister's inadequate pledges.
Time pressure is mounting.
The UK will leave the European Union on March 29, and if no divorce deal agreed with the European Union passes the UK Parliament it is predicted to cause chaos at customs, food and medicine shortages and severe damage to UK businesses and the economy.
She promised to discuss his ideas for keeping closer ties to the European Union than she has proposed, while working together to resolve the contentious Irish backstop. Downing Street said that would give Parliament a few days to consider her remarks. On Monday, figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed the economy shrunk by 0.4 per cent in December and that it grew by 1.4 per cent a year ago, the slowest rate since 2009.
The Office for National Statistics said that the British economy grew by a quarterly rate of only 0.2 per cent during the fourth quarter, down from the 0.6 per cent tick recorded in the previous three-month period.
In the fourth quarter, British business investment fell 1.4 percent for the fourth straight quarterly decline - the first time that has happened since the 2008 financial crisis.
With 45 days to go, former attorney general Dominic Grieve warned that time was running perilously short for ratification of any deal under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.
But the end of February really does seem to be the last moment where they could do more to stop no deal than just pass a resolution the government could then ignore.
ITV news reported that Mr Robbins was overheard in a Brussels hotel bar on Monday telling colleagues the European Union would probably give the Government an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process. I'm afraid, Mr Speaker, that is simply not the case.