World Media

United Kingdom signs Swiss trade deal as heat grows on Liam Fox

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street

She is expected to ask parliament to reaffirm its support for her plan to try and renegotiate the part of the deal relating to the future of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.

After the British parliament rejected the Brexit withdrawal agreement in January, German carmakers urged the British government not to leave the bloc without a trade deal.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said Sunday that Parliament would get to pass judgment on May's Brexit plan "by no later than February 27".

With the European Union saying so far that they are not willing to reopen talks on the Withdrawal Agreement, other lawmakers are likely to propose alternatives to May's deal to gauge support for them and persuade the prime minister to change course by seeking closer European Union ties or holding a second referendum.

In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dated Sunday, May opposed his party's appeal for the country to remain in a customs union with Brussels.

Labour is proposing its own Brexit plan, which would involve the United Kingdom staying in a customs union with the EU, which they say could get the backing of a majority of MPs.

On Thursday - Valentine's Day - MPs will consider a motion on Brexit and a series of amendments, likely to include shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer's attempt to impose a new deadline for a vote on the deal. "There needs to be a day when Parliament says that's it, enough is enough".

Mr Brokenshire refused to commit to this in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, saying there could be more votes on amendments to the proposed deal instead.

The Prime Minister is expected to ask MPs to give her more time to secure changes to her Brexit deal, as well as promising them another say on her plans, in a bid to placate ministers anxious about a no-deal exit.

The impasse risks a chaotic departure that would hurt the economy.

After talks with Brussels this week Mrs May said that she was determined to deliver Brexit on time ahead of the March 29 deadline.

But in the case of a "no-deal" Brexit, those agreements will no longer apply to Swiss-British relations, and the new bilateral trade agreement between the two countries will kick in.

They have also signed a deal to preserve the rights of some 43,000 British nationals living in Switzerland and the 35,000 Swiss residing in Britain after Brexit.

The UK can not negotiate new free trade agreements, with countries such as the United States of America, while we are still an European Union member.