UK PM Theresa May to take Brexit options back to European Union negotiators


Pro and anti Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament (Picture: PA) There was little indication of compromise, with the Prime Minister once again ruling out a second referendum and an extension to Article 50 but stopping short of announcing an adjustment to her position.

A "backstop" protocol dealing with the Irish border in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by British Prime Minister Theresa May last month was cited by many British lawmakers as a reason for their rejecting May's deal last week.

The Prime Minister continued that she does not believe that there is a majority in Parliament for a second referendum, elaborating that she has "deep concerns" over the British returning to the voting polls over Brexit as it would set a "difficult precedent that could have significant implications". 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.

However, Labour's business spokeswoman Rebecca Long-Bailey said the amendment did not mean that the party supported a second vote and merely reflected its existing policy. With just 67 days remaining in the deadline, PM May's plan B is set to be voted on UK Parliament during January 29, 2019.

Mrs May sought to reassure MPs that they will be given "a proper say and fuller involvement" in establishing the UK's position in negotiations on future relations with the EU.

She refused to give into demands from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and others to take no deal off the table - arguing the only way of doing that was either agreeing a deal or cancelling Brexit all together. Brexit supporters fear that could be the EU's way of keeping Britain in its orbit for years after the supposed breakup.

"We need bold action", he was quoted as saying.

The Labour leadership is now walking the tightrope of wanting to offer MPs a vote on a second referendum without actually endorsing the plan itself.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed a series of votes in Parliament on options for how the United Kingdom can avoid an economically damaging no-deal Brexit.

Then, the most obvious next step is returning to Brussels and getting further assurances from the European Union on the future relationship, pertaining in particular to the Irish Border "backstop".

Labour former minister Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, published a Bill that would give MPs a vote to prevent a no-deal Brexit scenario.

"This is a fair deal that 27 members strongly support so I would really not touch", he said.

"I fear a second referendum would set a hard precedent that could have significant implications for how we handle referendums in this country - not least, strengthening the hand of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom", she said.

Clarity from London is some way off: lawmakers have so far put forward six amendments with proposals for a delay to Brexit, a new vote and even for parliament to grab control of the process. "We will not be dragged out of Europe by a Tory government we did not vote for", Mr Blackford said.

If no agreement can be ratified before March 29, the United Kingdom will lurch out of the European Union with no deal, risking dire economic consequences, including a recession, and potentially a 25% fall in the value of the pound, according to British authorities.

Last week, Mr Varadkar reinforced his position that Ireland would implement any infrastructure on the border with Northern Ireland.

May´s Downing Street office has called them "extremely concerning".