United Kingdom lawmakers start voting on 4 Brexit options - global

by Garry Watts April 2, 2019, 1:04
United Kingdom lawmakers start voting on 4 Brexit options - global

The move comes as Theresa May plans to bring back her Brexit deal to a Commons vote for the fourth time, possibly as early as tomorrow.

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.

EasyJet has warned that uncertainty over Brexit is holding back demand in the short term, as the airline said it would make a loss in the first half due to rising costs.

"Today we have got to start to bring that to an end", he said.

Which is why the Mrs May will have very mixed feelings about the Clarke customs-union motion being voted on in just a few hours because it is simultaneously the route to her salvation and her damnation, depending on what happens next.

Eight motions have been proposed and the opposition Labour Party is expected to put forward its plan this morning.

This path may allow Britain to seek trade deals outside the European Union, but would likely mean that Britain would have to allow for free movement of European Union citizens into Britain.

British lawmakers plan another round of votes Monday to see whether they can come to an agreement on a way for Britain to leave the bloc.

May has ruled out all the ideas under consideration.

By normal standards 58 would be a big defeat for a government, but if the prime minister can hold on to last week's supporters and swing the DUP her way there is a chance she can win the 30 extra votes needed - particularly if the other options are an election or softer Brexit.

But it has been roundly rejected by lawmakers on both sides of Britain's Brexit divide.

If the government can't bridge the gap by April 12, Britain will crash out of the European Union without a plan for future relations, damaging its economy, undermining the country's unity and diminishing its stature in the world.

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MPs have already voted overwhelmingly against a similar motion last week.

Softer Brexit: Parliament considered several measures that would enable a softer Brexit.

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.

But the Prime Minister has set her face firmly against a customs union, warning it runs counter to the Conservatives' election manifesto.

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

EasyJet said that following discussions with state-controlled railway Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to "explore options" for Alitalia, it has now withdrawn from the process.

However, another well-organised group of ministers, including Amber Rudd and David Gauke, are determined to avoid no deal and believe May should instead seek a cross-party consensus.

Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening told The Sunday Times she "might" run for the leadership, while chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss sparked speculation after she called for the party to "remodernise".

Underlining how uncertainty is hurting business, the United Kingdom head of German industrial giant Siemens, Juergen Maier, said Britain was wrecking its reputation for stability and he urged lawmakers to back a customs union with the EU.

But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Saarbruecken, Germany that "if the British haven't left by April 12 and there is an extension, then Britain must take part in the European election".

Mr Cameron tried to portray himself, in public, as a defender of British sovereignty against European Union powergrabbing in 2014 when he said of then-presidential candidate Juncker that he was the "wrong person" to lead the Commission, saying the Luxembourgish politician had been "at the heart of the project to increase the power of Brussels and reduce the power of nation states for his entire working life".

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