Britain is not planning to extend Article 50, Brexit Secretary says
- Author: Joe Gonzales Jan 09, 2019,
Jan 09, 2019, 1:24
The change to the Finance Bill will require the government to either extend Article 50 or gain the approval of parliament before being able to use tax-raising powers in the event of "no deal".
Without a withdrawal agreement, Britain faces the prospect of crashing out of the bloc on that date with no deal, a development that could see tariffs slapped on British exports to the European Union, widespread disruption at ports and shortages of food and pharmaceuticals.
Reports this weekend suggest that Downing Street are planning to put the deal before parliament up to 30 times in an attempt to bludgeon MPs into backing it in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
But parliamentary opposition to her deal remains fierce, with the main sticking point being the safety net "backstop" measure - which would guarantee no hard border is erected on the island of Ireland in the event that post-Brexit trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and the bloc prove unsuccessful.
Britain's divorce deal with Brussels is the only deal on the table and can not be renegotiated, an EU Commission spokesperson said Monday.
Johnson wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph: "Of all the options suggested by pollsters - staying in the European Union, coming out on Theresa May's terms, or coming out on World Trade terms - it is the last, the so-called no-deal option, that is gaining in popularity".
"The backstop remains the poison which makes any vote for the Withdrawal Agreement so toxic", DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds said in a statement on Sunday.
Speaking at a hospital where she was launching her ten-year plan for the NHS, May said that there had been "some further movement from the EU" at the December European Council and that she had been speaking to EU leaders in the intervening period.
But a former Thatcher cabinet minister, John Redwood, said a no-deal Brexit "will work just fine" despite the "idiotic" warnings about potential shortages of food and medicines.
Meanwhile, Business Secretary Greg Clark told the House of Commons that a no-deal Brexit "should not be contemplated". "I think it's those kind of assurances we are happy to give".
"The prime minister said that she would close the debate next Tuesday, which is January 15, when the vote will take place", her spokesperson told reporters.
"Others across the House of Commons are so focused on their particular vision of Brexit that they risk making a flawless ideal the enemy of a good deal".
Theresa May suffered a major backbench rebellion as MPs signalled their opposition to a no-deal Brexit by defeating the Government in the Commons.
Labour MP Ian Murray, who backs the People's Vote campaign for another referendum, said it showed that a no-deal exit was an "empty threat".
"Less than a hundred lorries is a drop in the ocean compared to the more than 10,000 that go to the channel ports every day", said Charlie Elphicke, a Conservative lawmaker for Dover.
But, a majority of lawmakers from across the political spectrum opposed to a no-deal exit have now established their political significance and promised to keep making it harder for the government to leave without a deal.