Do not hijack Brexit, minister warns Britain's parliament

Common ground Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Common ground Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Concern over the Irish border backstop resulted in a delay of a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal, initially scheduled for 11 December.

Cabinet sources have told Sky News that Mrs May made clear she was ditching efforts to seek a cross-party compromise, because the level of support expected from Labour MPs was not deemed strong enough to pass the Withdrawal Agreement and the subsequent Brexit legislation required before the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Meanwhile, it was reported former attorney general Dominic Grieve is preparing an amendment which would enable MPs to seize control of the Commons business to block a no-deal Brexit.

The Sunday Times said it had obtained leaked emails showing that Mr Grieve had been in secret communication with a Commons clerk of bills Colin Lee to discuss how it could be possible suspend Article 50. Many economists expect Britain to plunge into recession if there is a "no-deal" Brexit.

Mrs May is due to spell out to lawmakers on Monday what her plans are now for Brexit following MPs' overwhelming rejection of the divorce deal agreed between London and Brussels.

Theresa May's Brexit plan B will be debated in Parliament next week and MPs are expected to vote on the revisited proposal on Tuesday, March 29th.

"Her mind is closed", he said.

His push comes as the Government survived its motion of no confidence last night, and Theresa May having her Brexit deal voted down by down by 432 to 202 the night before- the biggest defeat ever inflicted on a British Prime Minister.

The British government and the European Union sealed a divorce deal last month, but postponed a parliamentary vote meant to ratify the agreement last week when it became clear legislators would overwhelmingly reject it.

The Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said: "I can assure you that the Irish government's commitment to the entire withdrawal agreement is absolute, including the backstop to ensure, no matter what, an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the Good Friday agreement, are protected". "But I don't think we can let the European Union hold us hostage and just stubbornly resist all reasonable changes", the Conservative backbencher said, adding that disruption from a no-deal Brexit would last "three to six months". But he also indicated he would rather leave with a Labour-flavoured Withdrawal Agreement. She has also rejected staying in a customs union with the EU. "But the danger is, just like 1983, a new party built around a relationship with Europe keeps the Labour Party out of power for a generation".

Weber, leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, told Reuters the deal could not be improved.

Another Brexit vote in the House of Commons will take place on 29 January.

"It is a unique way of doing it but I think it is justified".

But shadow Brexit secretary Kier Starmer suggested that the Labour leadership could be warming to a second Brexit referendum, saying the party was in the "third phase" of its policy.

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