Published: Sun, April 07, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

EU Official Says No-Deal Brexit Becoming More Likely

EU Official Says No-Deal Brexit Becoming More Likely

Her short statement came on a day when a cross-party group of senior MPs launched a bid to force the Prime Minister to stop no-deal Brexit by tabling a bill requiring her to extend the negotiation process beyond April 12.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at 1330 GMT on Wednesday, her spokesman said, adding that further talks could probably be arranged if necessary.

Corbyn, who voted against joining the bloc in 1975, has said Brexit should include a customs union with the EU and protection for consumer and environmental standards, and workers' rights.

Both the government and Labour called the meeting "constructive" and said their teams would hold more in-depth talks Thursday (Friday NZ time).

May's dramatic shift left her caught between angry Conservatives who accuse her of throwing away Brexit, and Labour opponents mistrustful of her sudden change of heart.

"The Leader of the Opposition and I have different opinions on a number of issues", she said, and referenced their differing responses to a chemical attack in Salisbury previous year. He said May wanted Labour "to bail her out of a position she's dug herself in".

But it enraged the staunchly pro-Brexit wing of her Conservative party and saw junior minister Nigel Adams resigned in protest at May's "grave error" in judgement.

It is also unclear where May's last-ditch attempt to get a Brexit deal through will ultimately leave her minority government. He was not alone as other MPs pushing for a "hard" Brexit lambasted the decision to open talks with Mr. Corbyn, with one - Jacob Rees-Mogg - describing him as a "known Marxist".

"I realize some of you will be concerned about the government discussing the way forward with the opposition", May said in a letter to Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday. "The security of Europeans will be our top priority".

European Union leaders have warned they will want clear answers from May in Brussels about what the new extension was for. The default option, leaving without a deal on 12 April, was opposed by a majority of MPs and a number of cabinet ministers.

May has always ruled that out, saying it would limit Britain's ability to forge an independent trade policy.

"We want the result of the referendum respected, and just as we joined the common market as one country we must leave the European Union as one country", it added.

Does this mean a softer Brexit?

If the talks with Corbyn fail, May has said her government will put forward a range of options for parliament to vote on.

This week, Parliament narrowly rejected a proposal for a new referendum on whether to leave the EU.

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

Cross-party lawmakers will try to rush a law through the parliament later Wednesday aimed at making sure that Britain does not leave the bloc without a deal.

But speaking immediately after her own meeting with the prime minister, Ms Sturgeon said she was "not much clearer on where she (Mrs May) is prepared to give ground".

"Every member of this house in involved in Brexit", Mrs May retorted.

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