United Kingdom and Switzerland strike a deal on post-Brexit trade

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge this week to give parliament another chance to voice their opinions on Brexit by February 27 as she tries to buy more time to negotiate a new deal with the European Union.

May has indicated, to the fury of Brexiters, that she is prepared to negotiate with Corbyn, raising their suspicions she might opt to ask the EU for Britain to remain permanently in the customs union, a deal she could get the Commons to endorse by seeking cross-party support.

Businesses and governments are on edge because Britain is just weeks away from its scheduled departure from the European project after 46 years and still has no firm arrangements in place. The backstop is the main obstacle to securing agreement on the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

The government has signed a trade deal with Switzerland, heralded as the most significant such agreement in the run-up to Brexit.

MPs are set to vote again on Britain's Brexit options on February 14.

The political wrangling will do little to reassure British business though.

However, the same source confirmed that talks with South Korea, one of the UK's most important overseas trading partners, have stuttered and are "very unlikely" to be finished by the end of March.

"Unless Parliament can agree on something else, that is what we are going to get".

She promised to discuss his ideas for keeping closer ties to the European Union than she's proposed, while working together to resolve the contentious Irish backstop.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to buy herself more time to renegotiate her Brexit deal as Parliament threatens to take control over the process to stop the United Kingdom plunging out of the European Union with no agreement in place.

The move is aimed at postponing a rebellion by ministers who want to remove the possibility a no-deal Brexit.

The UK is now preparing for a Brexit no deal and in December the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced a further £2billion in "Brexit preparedness" taking the total budgeted figure to more than £4billion.

In her letter to Corbyn, May argued that her own Brexit plan "explicitly provides for the benefits of a customs union" in terms of avoiding tariffs, while allowing "development of the UK's independent trade policy beyond our economic partnership with the EU".

But in efforts to build cross-party support for a Brexit deal, she offered flexibility on Corbyn's calls to keep up with European Union measures to protect the environment and workers' rights, asking for further talks with Labour "as soon as possible". The UK government has dropped its initial demand that they retain easy access to the single market.

But he insists the legally-binding divorce agreement between them can't be renegotiated.

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