Brexit: May reaches out to Labour, asks European Union for delay

By Canadian Press	
	 		Barnier says chaotic Brexit becomes ever more likely				Apr 02 2019

By Canadian Press Barnier says chaotic Brexit becomes ever more likely Apr 02 2019

The current deal put forward by May has failed twice in parliament in its entirety, and again last week as a partial vote.

After a seven-hour Cabinet meeting, May announced a significant softening of her Brexit terms.

The Prime Minister and Labour leader are meeting for a second round of talks aimed at resolving the Westminster stalemate after MPs rejected Mrs May's Withdrawal Agreement three times.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said a third set of so-called indicative votes could still take place alongside this process, but the focus of the cross-party group was now approving the bill - with the hope that it will pass on Thursday.

The second option, dubbed "Common Market 2.0", would accept May's divorce terms but require her to negotiate a new European Union customs arrangement and membership of the European Union single market.

Option E (Peter Kyle): Put any agreed Brexit deal to a public vote. First Vice President Frans Timmermans also told Germany's Die Welt newspaper that "we can not forever continue this way in the Brexit negotiations and always extend by two weeks".

May had already ruled out all the ideas under consideration.

The EU had negotiated a long transition period with British Prime Minister Theresa May, but it was linked to the overall agreement that the United Kingdom parliament has rejected up to now.

Conservative lawmaker Nick Boles, architect of the single-market option, acknowledged he had failed in his attempt to break the deadlock.

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"She (Theresa May) wants to know where the rest of us are prepared to compromise but I got no sense at all from her, at any stage yesterday, of where she is willing to compromise", Ms Sturgeon said.

Britain was due to leave the European Union on March 29 but the political deadlock in London forced May to ask the bloc for a delay.

The motion for a confirmatory public vote, drawn up by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson and tabled by Labour former minister Dame Margaret Beckett, polled the highest number of votes first time round - although it was defeated by 295 votes to 268. The Government would promise to deliver whatever Parliament decides. But Hancock said backbench opposition to May's deal had forced her to turn to Labour.

May made the announcement after the EU's chief negotiator warned that a disruptive and costly Brexit was likely unless Britain broke the impasse that has paralyzed the government and Parliament.

"We are disappointed that MPs have chosen to back this bill", a government spokesman said.

Exit without a deal would affect trade and travel overnight, with new checks on borders and new regulations on dealings between Britain and the 27 remaining European Union nations.

Meanwhile, British lawmakers intent on avoiding a no-deal Brexit have drawn up plans to prevent Britain crashing out of the bloc, by accident or design.

With no majority yet in the House of Commons for any of the Brexit options, there was speculation that an election could be called, though such a vote would be unpredictable and it is unclear who would lead the Conservatives into it. "A hard Brexit is now nearly inevitable", the European Parliament's Brexit spokesman, Guy Verhofstadt, said.

He added that MPs would have "one last chance to avoid the abyss on Wednesday".

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