'Still issues to be discussed' on Brexit deal, DUP says

Leroy Wright
March 17, 2019

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told Germany's Funke newspaper group in comments published Saturday that Britain must know why it needs a delay.

The Democratic Unionist Party has denied speculation that it is discussing money with Downing Street amidst talks over supporting May's Brexit deal. Listen to the full conversation here.

Speaker of the House John Bercow was criticised by a number of Conservative Brexiter MPs for not selecting any of the amendments which would categorically rule out a second referendum; although, as he pointed out, any MPs strongly opposed to a second referendum could vote against Amendment H without difficulty. On Tuesday, she failed to attract any more of the Labour MPs who represent constituencies that voted leave in the 2016 referendum, beyond the three who voted for her deal in January.

On Thursday, MPs voted to ask European Union leaders to simply push Brexit back in a bid to head off a hugely disruptive end to their partnership.

Brussels has begun preparations for a possible delay to Brexit beyond the current 29 March deadline after MPs backed an extension to the Article 50 process.

Even if the deadline is unanimously agreed, the Prime Minister will still need to get a deal through the Houses of Commons, which is now divided on the matter of the Irish back-stop. In one unusual episode Thursday, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged Parliament to support the government's motion to seek a Brexit delay-then voted against it himself. If the Commons has not passed a deal by that time then Mrs May will request a longer extension.

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If the deal is rejected by MPs again, Mrs May has warned that the EU is likely to only accept a longer delay, which would mean the United Kingdom would need to send new MEPs back to the European Parliament.

"There will be Conservatives who vote against it come what may, that's why in order for it to pass three things have to happen: she has to get the DUP on board, she has to persuade as many as possible of the 75 (Brexiteer) Conservatives to vote for it, and she will nearly certainly need more Labour MPs", said John Whittingdale, a Conservative lawmaker and member of the pro-Brexit faction.

Less than two weeks before the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union, the nation stands at a historic crossroads.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit had "diminished" with Thursday's votes.

However, despite pushing for another referendum, the People's Vote campaign have decided that this is not the right time.

"That is because a People's Vote is not just another option in this Brexit crisis - it is a solution to this crisis".

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