cloudyn.png
Monday November 18th, 2019 5:03AM

UK leader in frantic final push to win Brexit deal backing

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May made a frantic last push Monday to swing lawmakers' support behind her seemingly doomed Brexit deal, warning that its defeat risked scuttling the U.K.'s departure from the European Union and "betraying the vote of the British people."

May claimed to have gotten reassurances with "legal force" on key issues from the EU, and said history books would judge Parliament harshly if lawmakers did not back Britain's orderly exit from the EU when they vote on the agreement Tuesday.

"Over these next 24 hours, give this deal a second look," May implored skeptical lawmakers in the House of Commons.

"With just 74 days to go until (Brexit day) the 29th of March, the consequences of voting against this deal tomorrow are becoming ever clearer," she said.

May said rejecting her deal would lead either to a reversal of Brexit — overturning voters' decision in a 2016 referendum — or to Britain leaving the bloc without a deal, a course that would damage the country's economy, security and unity.

But the British leader had few concrete measures up her sleeve, and opposition to her deal remains dauntingly strong. A defeat on Tuesday would throw Brexit plans into disarray just weeks before the U.K. is due to withdraw from the bloc.

Britain and the EU reached a hard-won divorce deal in November, a milestone that should have set the U.K. on the road to an orderly exit.

But the compromise deal has been rejected by both sides of Britain's EU divide. Many Brexit-backing lawmakers say it will leave the U.K. tethered to the bloc's rules and unable to forge an independent trade policy. Pro-Europeans argue it is inferior to the frictionless economic relationship Britain currently enjoys as an EU member.

May postponed a vote on the deal in December to avoid a resounding defeat, and there are few signs sentiment has changed significantly since then. A handful of previously opposed legislators have swung behind May's agreement in the last few days, but they remain outnumbered by those determined to vote against it.

In a bid to win support, May sought reassurances from EU leaders about the deal's most contentious measure — an insurance policy known as the "backstop" that would keep Britain in an EU customs union to maintain an open border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers worry that Britain could be trapped indefinitely in the arrangement, bound to EU trade rules and unable to strike new deals around the world.

In a letter to May published Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered an assurance that the backstop "would only be in place for as long as strictly necessary."

They promised that the EU would work quickly to strike a permanent new trade deal with Britain that would render the backstop unnecessary.

But the letter also reiterated the bloc's refusal to renegotiate the divorce deal. The two men said "we are not in a position to agree to anything that changes or is inconsistent with the Withdrawal Agreement."

Lawmaker Nigel Dodds of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which fiercely opposes the Irish backstop, said "nothing has fundamentally changed."

Facing opposition from pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party and its DUP allies, May sought to win opposition Labour Party lawmakers' support by promising that the government won't try to water down environmental standards and workers' rights after Brexit.

Some opposition lawmakers' suspect that the government plans to reduce the protections in a bid to boost the economy after Britain leaves the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was unmoved, condemning May's deal as a "damaging shambles" and calling for a general election if the agreement is rejected on Tuesday.

If Parliament votes down the deal, May has until the following Monday to come up with a new proposal. So far, May has refused publicly to speculate on a possible "Plan B."

Some members of Parliament from both government and opposition parties are exploring ways to use parliamentary procedures to wrest control of the Brexit process away from the government, so that lawmakers by majority vote could specify a new plan for Britain's EU exit.

But with no clear majority in Parliament for any single alternate course, there is a growing chance that Britain may seek to postpone its departure date while politicians work on a new plan.

Without a Brexit deal, Britain faces an abrupt break from the EU, a scenario that economists warn could batter the British economy and bring chaotic scenes at borders, ports and airports.

Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve, who is spearheading efforts to unite Parliament to prevent a no-deal Brexit, said a cliff-edge exit from the EU would be "national suicide."

"The economic damage which it will do to us will be immense, so that the most vulnerable in our society will be those who suffer most as a consequence," Grieve said.

"I'm not prepared to see that happening," he added.

___

Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this story.

___

Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Taliban suicide bomber kills 4, wounds over 100 in Kabul
Afghan officials: Taliban suicide bomber killed 4, wounded scores in evening explosion on Kabul
2:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Tokyo court denies bail to Nissan's ex-chair Carlos Ghosn
The Tokyo District Court has turned down Nissan former Chairman Carlos Ghosn's request for release on bail
2:09AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Death toll in Russia's gas explosion climbs to 2
The death toll in a gas explosion at an apartment building in southern Russia has climbed to two people after a woman was found in the debris
2:07AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Lovin' it: Trump fetes champion Clemson with burgers, fries
He's lovin' it: Trump fetes champion Clemson Tigers with burgers, fries
12:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low
Government figures show the EPA has hit a 30-year low in the number of pollution cases referred for criminal prosecution
12:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Complaint: Kidnapping suspect kept Wisconsin girl under bed
Complaint: Kidnapping suspect kept Wisconsin girl trapped under his bed after killing her parents
12:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Kidnapping suspect targeted girl after seeing her get on bus
Suspect in Wisconsin kidnapping decided to abduct girl after watching her get on school bus
11:24PM ( 3 hours ago )
Man who took 2 women hostage at UPS facility is dead
New Jersey's attorney general says the armed man who burst into a UPS facility and took two female workers hostage was shot and killed by police after he exited the building with both women
11:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
Death penalty for Canadian escalates China-Canada tensions
A Chinese court has sentenced a Canadian man to death in a sudden retrial in a drug smuggling case that is likely to escalate tensions between the countries over the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive
10:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
GOP Rep. King loses committee posts over racial remarks
Veteran Republican Rep. Steve King will be blocked from committee assignments for the next two years after remarks lamenting that white supremacy and white nationalism have become offensive terms
8:30PM ( 5 hours ago )
Senate GOP leader rips Rep. King over white supremacy remark
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounces Republican Rep. Steve King over his latest remarks on white supremacy
7:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
No. of no-show airport security screeners soars in shutdown
The number of airport security screeners failing to show up for work around the country amid the partial government shutdown is soaring
6:54PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Family's fight for liquor license leads to Supreme Court
Supreme Court set to hear dispute over Tennessee's residency requirements for liquor store owners
12:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
EPA pollution cases sent to prosecutors hits 30-year low
Government figures show the EPA has hit a 30-year low in the number of pollution cases referred for criminal prosecution
12:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
At Trump's side, Border Patrol union leader in spotlight
Trump's focus on border also casts spotlight on Border Patrol and its union president
12:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump seeks to sell shutdown, trade policies to farmers
President Donald Trump is urging a gathering of farmers to stick with him even as many of them grapple with the impact of his trade battles with China and Washington's shuttered bureaucracy.
6:27PM ( 7 hours ago )
UK leader in frantic final push to win Brexit deal backing
British Prime Minister Theresa May is making a frantic last push to swing lawmakers behind her seemingly doomed Brexit deal.
6:13PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: Official decries blocking of birth control rules
A federal health official says a nationwide injunction on new Trump administration rules that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control will force Americans to "violate" their consciences
5:47PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
New migrant caravan sets out from Honduras for US
Another caravan of Central American migrants has set out from Honduras seeking to reach the U.S. border, following the same route used by thousands last year
12:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
India's mega Hindu festival begins under cloud of toxic air
India's mega Hindu festival begins under cloud of toxic air, a sign that government officials are struggling to grapple with the country's worsening air pollution
9:51PM ( 4 hours ago )
Trade war delaying Chinese automaker's US plans
Chinese automaker GAC Motor says the U.S.-China trade war has delayed its plans to enter the American market
6:21PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP World News
Sears' chairman stands at the center of fight for company
As Sears teeters on the brink of collapse, its chairman stands at the center of the fight to keep it alive
7:59PM ( 6 hours ago )
FDA resuming some food inspections halted by shutdown
FDA to resume inspections of riskier foods during government shutdown
7:21PM ( 7 hours ago )
Feds to ease rules on drone flights over crowds and at night
Federal officials plan to ease restrictions on drone flights over crowds and at night
6:51PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business
Another sign of weakness in China weighs on US stocks
US stocks slip after China said its exports fell in December, but major indexes avoid the big losses they took in late 2018 when investors worried about the state of the global economy
4:25PM ( 9 hours ago )
Another sign of weakness in China sends US stocks lower
Global stock indexes are slightly lower after China said its exports fell in December, contributing to concerns its economy is getting weaker
3:45PM ( 10 hours ago )
New Democratic Kansas governor promises bipartisan approach
Kansas' new Democratic governor has called for the state to "forge a new chapter" of bipartisanship
2:54PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: 2-time champion Azarenka out in 1st round
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka's return to the Australian Open for the first time since 2016 has ended in a first-round loss to No. 110-ranked Laura Siegemund.
2:05AM ( 19 minutes ago )
China to cut taxes, keep policy flexible to counter slowdown
China to cut taxes, keep policy flexible to counter slowdown
1:57AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Asian shares recover as China outlines 2019 policy plans
Asian shares rebound on Chinese policy reassurance, hopes for progress on trade tension
1:50AM ( 34 minutes ago )
California storms bring fear of devastating mudslides
Evacuation orders have been issued for many Southern and Central California areas hit by wildfires in recent months as Pacific storms threaten to unleash flows of mud, boulders and debris
1:41AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Parents wonder if kids are learning amid Los Angeles strike
Los Angeles parents are wondering how much their kids were learning during a teacher strike in the nation's second-largest school district
1:38AM ( 46 minutes ago )