Ireland knocks back Polish proposal to break Brexit deadlock over backstop

TOUGH TIMES Pro Brexit supporters outside the Houses of Parliament London last week ahead of the House of Commons vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal — which was defeated
Polish foreign minister proposes limiting backstop

23 January, 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May, who survived a vote of no confidence earlier this month, is giving a statement in the British Parliament, regarding a new solution for the Brexit process, as her deal was previously rejected by the MPs.

But she refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit, and insisted that there was no majority in the House of Commons for a so-called People's Vote.

May vowed to be "more flexible" with lawmakers in trying to agree changes to the Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to ensure there will be no return to border checks between the British province and Ireland.

An amendment, previously adopted by the legislators, states that May has to work out a new plan of action in just 10 weeks, before the country is set to exit the European Union on 29 March 2019. Some people are confident that if May threatens to walk away, having proved once and for all that her parliament hates the deal, the European Union will blink.

The bill will be debated and voted on - along with any amendments tabled by MPs - on January 29.

There were signs some Brexiteers could reluctantly back Mrs May's deal amid concerns a cross-party grouping of MPs are plotting to impose a "softer" Brexit - or derail it altogether.

The newspaper continued: "Mr Grieve's proposal would temporarily suspend the government's historic right to dictate Commons business so that for one day MPs would be able to pass their own resolutions- and even legislation- on the way forward for Brexit".

The formula of "keeping all options on the table" sticks to the compromise agreed by the Labour Party previous year that has enabled Corbyn, a lifelong Euroskeptic, to hold off demands from rank-and-file members and lawmakers to support a second referendum.

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There was an introductory phone call last week between Theresa May and the man who many think wields more influence over the Labour leadership than anyone else outside Jeremy Corbyn's closest team.

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Labour's amendment seeks to force the government to give parliament time to consider and vote on options to prevent Britain leaving on March 29 without an agreement.

The backstop is a series of measures intended as an insurance policy to prevent a physical border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member state.

It came as Theresa May was due to hold her weekly Cabinet meeting to discuss her next moves, with backbenchers also planning various amendments created to make various changes on Tuesday.

Even though Plan B looks remarkably similar to Plan A, some analysts suggest that the impending Article 50 deadline (a mere 67 days from now), could prompt some MPs to vote in favor of the revised bill rather than risk a no-deal "hard" Brexit.

As pressure grew, Tory MP Nadine Dorries last night said her Brexiteer colleagues were realising that they must support Mrs May's plan to avoid "Europhile Kamikaze MPs" taking charge.

The government has said everyone already here can stay, and set up an online registration process with a fee of $A115 for adults.

As it stands, the United Kingdom risks leaving without a deal and suffering immediate consequences, such as delays in overseas trade, new tariffs and long lineups at ports of entry.

"If it was passed, the amendment, and it went to a vote on these specific issues then that would be a decision for the party to take at the time", she told the BBC.

May said she doesn't believe there's a majority for a referendum in the House of Commons and told supporters they will have to "think again" when it is defeated.

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