United Kingdom confirms flights protection in no-deal Brexit scenario

08 March, 2019, 07:15 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside of Downing Street in London Britain

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Thursday that the country's government is hopeful that they can reach a fair deal with the European Union (EU) this weekend over Brexit, before parliament votes on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal.

While the European Union still hopes for a breakthrough at the weekend, Brussels fears British Prime Minister Theresa May could try to negotiate directly with the other 27 European Union leaders at a Brussels summit on March 21-22, just a week before Brexit day.

Next week the prime minister is going to have another go at getting her deal through Parliament, which would reverse a record defeat of over 200 votes. It is in the European interest for the United Kingdom to leave with a deal.

Mr Cox's talks with European leaders earlier this week broke down, prompting Mrs May to say the decisions made by the European Union in the coming days would have a "big impact" on the fate of her deal, previously defeated by a whopping 230 votes in January.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit Secretary, said: "It's becoming increasingly clear that Theresa May will not be able to deliver the changes she promised to her failed Brexit deal".

"The Government will set out what it believes to be the correct tariffs if indeed we get to a no-deal scenario", he said.

EU officials continue to complain that the United Kingdom is yet to offer an alternative proposal to the backstop, while the European Commission's chief spokesperson briefed reporters on Wednesday that little progress had been made.

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"These discussions are running, they're going to be resuming very shortly, they're going to be continuing nearly certainly throughout the weekend", Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who is leading the talks, told British MPs.

Next week's vote in the UK Parliament will likely see Article 50 extended, something that could lead to the endorsement of a deal that does not involve London fully severing its political ties to Brussels, according to the lawmaker.

Cox, who was in Brussels on Tuesday, told MPs that negotiations with the European Union negotiators would "continue over the weekend".

The two sides are at an impasse over the so-called backstop aimed at ensuring that there is a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and Ireland - the only land frontier between the United Kingdom and the bloc.

"Discussions have been hard and no solution has been identified that is consistent with the withdrawal agreement, including the Northern Ireland protocol which, as you know, will not be reopened", said European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas after EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier debriefed the Commission on the state of the negotiations.

Rejecting the notion that Lord Trimble is qualified to speak for the North's Catholics, Fermanagh priest Fr McVeigh said Brexit has "accelerated" discussions about unity, even among unionists, and Prof. "They are as clear as day and we are continuing to discuss them".

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