Irish drivers warned to get paperwork for ‘no-deal’ Brexit

Exercises in Brexit positioning
One of the perks of being in opposition is that you can make promises you know you won’t have to keep

Exercises in Brexit positioning One of the perks of being in opposition is that you can make promises you know you won’t have to keep

May this week agreed to allow MPs to vote for a delay to Brexit beyond March 29 if her deal is again rejected by Parliament.

The U.K. opposition Labour Party is now officially backing a second Brexit referendum after Parliament turned down its alternative plan for the country's divorce from the EU. But EU leaders insist that the legally binding Brexit withdrawal agreement can't be reopened.

Mrs May's climbdown took much of the heat out of a series of votes on Wednesday that could have ripped control of the entire Brexit process away from the government.

With just 30 days to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, the Parliament endorsed Prime Minister Theresa May's concession that if the MPs can not agree on a deal to sever ties with the continent, Brexit might have to be delayed.

"This is not a functioning government, it is the Tory party at war with itself under a Prime Minister who can't give leadership", Mr Blackford said.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday the March 29 Brexit date can be extended, but it must be for a good reason.

Faced with the threat of Cabinet and ministerial resignations, the prime minister conceded Tuesday that she will seek a short delay to Britain's March 29 exit date - if her deal can not be passed by March 12, and if Parliament rejects the option of leaving without a deal (which it certainly would) and then votes for a delay.

Lawmakers showed overwhelming support for the proposal, approving by 520 votes to 20 an amendment tabled by Labour former minister Yvette Cooper seeking to bind May to the timeframe.

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The farming minister said he would be voting for her deal when it comes back to Parliament next month.

We're in another of those Brexit pressure-cooker moments where tension builds stealthily under the surface, ready to blow at any time.

He said "no deal" was preferable to a delay, though he added: "There might be a case.(for) a short delay of a couple of weeks if we needed to get the legislation through". It won't contradict the deal but will aim to allow British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to change his legal advice, which previously said that the United Kingdom could be trapped permanently in the "backstop" arrangement that prevents a hard Irish border.

Any delay must be approved by the other 27 European Union member states, and the bloc's leaders have agreed to look at any request from Britain.

British drivers travelling to Ireland or other European Union countries will also need the paperwork - just one of a host of new rules and hurdles citizens will need to negotiate if Britain crashes out of the bloc without a framework over its departure.

Almost three years ago, reeling from a hammer blow to decades of European integration after Britons voted to leave, many EU leaders would have seized any chance to put the genie back in the bottle.

European Union citizens arriving in the United Kingdom outnumbered those leaving by just 57,000 in the 12 months through September, the least since 2009 and half the number recorded a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said.

Meanwhile, the high-end British carmaker Aston Martin used a poor results announcement to warn that a no-deal Brexit was already hitting it hard, due to the lead time on production, which means cars being built now can only be shipped after March 29.

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