Theresa May offers ministers 'meaningful vote' if no Brexit deal

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to accept his alternative plan for

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to accept his alternative plan for

With Brexit just 45 days away, May was due to update the House of Commons on the state of negotiations, a day earlier than planned to give politicians more time to "digest" the remarks before a series of votes on Thursday.

The prime minister wrote a conciliatory letter to opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, after he proposed setting her a new deadline of February 26 for winning MPs' backing for a final exit deal.

A top European Union official warned Monday (4 February) that the prospect of Britain crashing out of the bloc next month looks more likely than ever, as Prime Minister Theresa May sought to reassure foreign investors anxious about a chaotic Brexit.

In an unusually conciliatory letter, May told Corbyn that both parties should discuss how "alternative arrangements" to the Irish backstop - a mechanism created to avoid a hard border - might work.

He then met UK Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay for what both sides said were "constructive" talks in Brussels late on Monday.

European Union leaders stuck to their guns on Wednesday (30 January), insisting that the Brexit Withdrawal agreement rejected by UK MPs would not be renegotiated.

A spokesman later explained that the process would be accelerated by a clause in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill itself, which would disapply the terms of the 2010 Act in this case. "It's not possible to predict the future", Ms Leadsom told the BBC. I think you would need to have a time limit.

But she said the Government is prepared to commit to asking Parliament if it wishes to follow suit if standards change.

However he agreed to further talks to find a way forward, and the pair will meet again before the end of February to "take stock", May said.

Mrs May has been forced to try and salvage her deal by re-entering talks with Brussels after the withdrawal agreement she secured was rejected in the biggest parliamentary defeat in history.

The PM indicated she could well table a deal later than this, saying that the government would, if needed, seek to set aside the usual rules which dictate that worldwide treaties need 21 parliamentary working days before they can be ratified. Now is not the time to stand idly by, now is the time to stand up and do the right thing: to rule out No Deal and back Labour's alternative plan.

May will ask lawmakers on Thursday to reaffirm that they support her bid to renegotiate the backstop, a government source said.

"Former Conservative chairman Grant Shapps warned in a tweet: "(The) coalition worked hard to create a dynamic United Kingdom jobs market & we enjoy half the unemployment rate of France by being a more attractive place to hire people.

However, MPs are losing their patience and time is quickly running out.

Labour has said it will seek to force Mrs May into a decisive second Commons showdown on her Brexit deal by the end of the month.

The EU has refused to reopen the Brexit divorce deal, though May insists she can get legally binding changes to replace the most contentious parts of the Irish border "backstop", the main hurdle to a Brexit deal.

On Sunday, May in a letter ruled out Corbyn's offer to have Britain remain in the single customs area.

Labour's front bench want May to agree to a softer Brexit that would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU, but May has rejected it as "less desirable" than the promises she had already won from the EU for a future trading relationship.

She has responded to a letter from Jeremy Corbyn, setting out his conditions to support a Brexit deal.

The prime minister told MPs she would lift a requirement for a 21-day delay before any vote to approve an global treaty.

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