Rees-Mogg fears UK's May will add customs union to Brexit deal

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during a summit between Arab league and European Union member states in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during a summit between Arab league and European Union member states in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt

Over the next few days, politicians from Prime Minister Theresa May downwards will scramble to get a deal through - either the one the prime minister has spent months trying to get approved by the House of Commons only for it to be defeated three times, or a softer Brexit plan that is picking up support among lawmakers of all parties.

Britain could be out of the EU by 22 May if the Commons backs a customs union in Monday night's indicatives votes, according to officials close to the Brexit negotiations in Brussels.

All the options were defeated.

Even with the Brexit countdown clock reset, the new deadline of April 12 suddenly doesn't seem very far away.

Over the weekend, Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, suggested that any Brexit deal should be put to a confirmatory public vote to "bring the country back together".

The option that came closest to success in last week's "indicative votes" in Parliament called for Britain to remain in a customs union with the EU after it leaves. In particular, it would remove the need for customs posts and border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, there appears to be momentum behind a plan to seek a deal that would see Britain stay in some kind of customs union with the European Union. It's a confused picture not guaranteed to produce a majority for anything.

The range of choices, and lack of consensus, reflect a Parliament and a government deeply divided over how - and whether - to leave the EU.

May, however, is under pressure from pro-Brexit members of her government not to tack toward a softer Brexit.

Mr Benn said he hoped the latest defeat for Mrs May's deal will "concentrate minds" and help build a clear majority for one of the Brexit options.

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Last week this option lost by 295 votes to 268, a margin of 27.

Hilary Benn, a Labour Party MP who chairs Parliament's Brexit committee, dismissed criticism that the parliamentary process was a failure because it did not deliver a majority in the first round of voting.

Juergen Maier urged lawmakers to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU, saying that would allow frictionless trade to continue.

Public vote to prevent no deal (F): this new motion by Labour's Graham Jones and the Conservative Dominic Grieve says that if the United Kingdom is heading for a no-deal Brexit, this should be put to a public vote. They have urged May not to compromise and to ramp up preparations to leave the bloc without an agreement on April 12.

Last week, after her Brexit deal was rejected by parliament for a third time, May's comment that she feared "we are reaching the limits of this process in this House", was seen by many as a hint she could be moving towards an election.

The alternative to a "no-deal" departure is to delay Brexit for at least several months, and possibly more than a year, while Britain sorts out the mess. The EU is frustrated with the impasse, and has said it will only grant another postponement if Britain comes up with a whole new Brexit plan.

The bloc is reluctant to have a departing Britain participate in the May 23-26 European parliament elections, but that would have to be done if Brexit is delayed.

Opponents of Brexit fear it will make Britain poorer and divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional US presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

A long delay raises the chances of an early British election, which could rearrange Parliament and break the political deadlock.

The United Kingdom 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. We've termed these the "No Deal Diehards". If that is rejected, the UK should revoke Article 50, and an inquiry should be held to examine a future UK-EU model that could command support on both sides. Pro-Brexit lawmakers think it keeps Britain too closely tied to European Union rules.

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