'Face down the European Union here and now': United Kingdom farming minister resigns

Saul Bowman
March 2, 2019

Lawmakers approved a three-step plan unveiled by the embattled leader on Tuesday, that would give her more time to renegotiate an agreement struck with the bloc past year.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on 29 March but is now on course to do so without a deal after British MPs overwhelmingly rejected the withdrawal agreement in January.

In one of its last acts before the general election which has been called on 28 April, the Spanish government is to introduce a decree outlining contingency plans for a hard Brexit on 29 March, including measures to make life relatively easy for British residents in this country including those who are now without permanent residency status.

Under the new plan, if she fails to come up with a deal that wins MPs' support by March 12, May would call a vote on a no-deal Brexit on March 13 and if that is voted down another vote on delaying on March 14.

A former Brexit secretary has accused the European Union of acting dishonorably in talks with the United Kingdom, arguing that it may make sense to leave the bloc with no deal and then negotiate future relations as an independent third country.

May on Tuesday offered the possibility of a short delay, drawing a largely positive response from Brussels.

"We need above all a decision, it's more important than extra time", Barnier said, according to reports from the AFP news agency. "It's possible, but not yet probable", he said.

The PM, who reached an agreement with European leaders a year ago but saw it rejected by British lawmakers in January, had ruled out delaying Brexit. "The chances of a deal get that bit slimmer because they are less likely to compromise", he told Today. But opponents have argued that a US trade deal would mean opening up Britain to changes in standards including accepting chlorine-treated chicken and genetically modified crops.

Eurotunnel said in a statement the settlement would "ensure that the Channel Tunnel remains the preferred route for vital goods to travel between the European Union and the UK".

Yes. They are known as amendments and, if approved by a vote, could exert political pressure on May to change the course of Brexit.

This would postpone Brexit beyond the UK's scheduled departure date of 29 March, although Mrs May argued a "one-off" extension to the Article 50 period - the two-year period for negotiating Britain's exit which began in March 2017 - could only last to the end of June.

He said: "Britain's biggest post-war political crisis is now on hold and at some point the inevitable conclusion will have to be played out".

And those still hoping to avert the split were boosted by the Labour Party's conditional decision to back a second Brexit referendum on Monday.

British farming minister George Eustice resigned from the government on Thursday and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said May's Brexit deal with the European Union needs to change, particularly on the issue of the Northern Irish backstop.

Mr Coveney said the European Union may provide an "addition" to the Withdrawal Agreement in a bid to British MPs' concerns surrounding the backstop, but Brussels would not be renegotiating the deal itself.

"We will also continue to push for the other available options to prevent those outcomes, including a close economic relationship based on our credible alternative plan or a general election".

One of the perks of being in opposition is that you can make promises you know you won't have to keep.

MPs also voted by 324 votes to 288 against a Scottish National Party motion to avoid "no deal".

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