Brexit in meltdown: Theresa May under pressure to forge softer divorce deal

Brexit in meltdown: Theresa May under pressure to forge softer divorce deal

Brexit in meltdown: Theresa May under pressure to forge softer divorce deal

British lawmakers are considering four alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May's rejected Brexit deal, in hopes of finding a plan that can command majority support.

He said if Parliament agrees to May's withdrawal agreement this week it "may be possible" to leave the EU without participating in European elections in late May.

She could abandon her red lines and embrace a soft Brexit, which would split her ruling Conservative Party and could bring down the government.

"We need to stick to this task that we have in relation to the European Union", he said.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers think it keeps Britain too closely tied to European Union rules.

Tory grandee Ken Clarke's motion seeks to force the government to sign up to a "permanent and comprehensive" UK-wide customs union with the EU.

Mrs May was coming under intense pressure from Brexit-backing ministers and MPs to resist any outcome which would see the United Kingdom remain in a customs union, preventing it from striking new trade deals elsewhere in the world.

Her hopes were dealt a blow as the Democratic Unionist Party reconfirmed its opposition to a Withdrawal Agreement which was rejected by 230 votes in January, 149 in March and 58 last week.

However, the two most popular versions, a softer Brexit with a customs union, and a second referendum, could pick up more support when the Commons has another chance to vote today.

May has ruled out both those ideas.

May's deal, which has been defeated by lawmakers three times even after she promised to step down if it passed, was further dented when her own Parliamentary enforcer said a softer Brexit was inevitable.

Defense Minister Tobias Ellwood urged fellow Conservative lawmakers to compromise to ensure an orderly Brexit.

Three shadow cabinet members were not disciplined after abstaining despite being whipped to vote for it, and there aren't many more votes to get for another referendum. The U.K. now faces a deadline of April 12 to present the European Union with a new Brexit plan or crash out of the bloc that night.

More news: New Borderlands Game Teased, More Coming Tomorrow

Reports said she was readying herself for a fourth time to put her deal to MPs after they rejected it last Friday.

The government is considering holding a runoff vote between May's deal and whatever gains the most support on Monday.

Two constitutional lawyers have advised the government it would have the legal right to ask the queen to withhold her royal assent to any bill foisted on the government by parliament.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show yesterday he said: "In the environment where we have left without a deal where we will have imposed direct rule, which we would need to do and where we were heading towards a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, I think that puts it in some doubt - the future of Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom".

The Irish border has been the main point of contention in the Conservative Party.

Nicky Morgan, a former cabinet minister and Tory MP, said one way to end the Brexit deadlock could be a government of national unity - which is a cabinet made up of different parties.

The range of choices, and lack of consensus, reflect a Parliament and a government deeply divided over how - and whether - to leave the EU.

Alistair Burt, who resigned as foreign office minister after voting against May's Brexit deal, told Sky News he didn't think a new election would be helpful.

"Brexit is a shitshow, I'll say it quite undiplomatically", he said.

The Brexit impasse has alarmed businesses, who say the uncertainty has deterred investment and undermined economic growth. He said: "The thing that people forget is that the Conservative Party went to get a majority in order to deliver Brexit [and] failed to get a majority".

Proposes leaving the European Union on April 12 without any kind of deal.

Juncker said in a speech Monday to the Saarland state legislature in Saarbruecken, Germany: "We now know what the British Parliament doesn't want, but we haven't heard what it wants. Enough of the long silence".

Related news