Brexit: May holds talks in Brussels amid scramble to finalise deal

Brexit: May holds talks in Brussels amid scramble to finalise deal

PM told not to come back empty-handed from tea with EU or her deal is toast

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

Theresa May today faced demands to guarantee that Britain will leave the EU in March – after she warned Brexit could be cancelled if MPs vote down her deal.

Spain has been demanding an assurance that Gibraltar will not be covered by any future trade deal unless Madrid gives its consent. The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has said he will not give his governments agreement to the deal on Sunday without such a guarantee. The EUs chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has privately conceded it is a serious political and legal problem.

At a highly-charged PMQs, a series of Tories berated Mrs May over the package she has thrashed out with Brussels.

But the Prime Minister – who will now travel to Brussels for further talks with the European Union – insisted the agreement delivered on key pledges on migration, judicial independence and slashing financial contributions to the bloc.

Pressed on whether she agreed with Amber Rudds comments this morning that no deal Brexit cannot happen because the Commons will block it, Mrs May appeared to dodge saying that crashing out was still an option.

The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

You look at the alternatives to having that deal with the EU, it will either be more uncertainty, more division, or it could risk no Brexit at all, she said.

He said: “In the December joint report agreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom it was agreed that Northern Ireland would have the final say on whether or not it diverged from the UK single market and was subjected to single market European rules with no say, why has the Prime Minister deleted all reference to that in the withdrawal agreement?”

Esther McVey – who dramatically quit Cabinet in protest last week – then urged the premier to give an assurance that the UK will leave the bloc in March.

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

Mrs May replied that Britain will be departing on that date – although that guarantee appears to be based on the Commons accepting her plan. 

Democratic Unionist Party peer Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown used his maiden speech in the House of Lords, traditionally reserved for uncontroversial issues, to argue the proposed withdrawal agreement would drive a coach and horses through the devolution settlement.

More news:

Police forced to watch dad, 39, drown after inspector ordered officers not to rescue him from river
Police forced to watch dad, 39, drown after inspector ordered officers not to rescue him from river
Gangland feud led to double murder of underworld Mr Big Paul Massey and mob fixer John Kinsella
Gangland feud led to double murder of underworld Mr Big Paul Massey and mob fixer John Kinsella
Met Office issues DANGER TO LIFE weather warning ahead of Storm Diana hitting UK tomorrow
Met Office issues DANGER TO LIFE weather warning ahead of Storm Diana hitting UK tomorrow
Climate change to make UK summers more than 5C hotter by 2070, Met Office warns
Climate change to make UK summers more than 5C hotter by 2070, Met Office warns
Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri is WRONG to do that – big change SLAMMED on live TV
Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri is WRONG to do that – big change SLAMMED on live TV
Special constable and his Hungarian wife flew woman into the UK to work as prostitutes
Special constable and his Hungarian wife flew woman into the UK to work as prostitutes
Turn around, go back home: Trump defends use of teargas on migrants
Turn around, go back home: Trump defends use of teargas on migrants
How a photographer captured the image of a migrant mother and her children fleeing tear gas
How a photographer captured the image of a migrant mother and her children fleeing tear gas
Donald Trump: Theresa Mays Brexit deal could harm UK trade with US
Donald Trump: Theresa Mays Brexit deal could harm UK trade with US
Police told not to enter river to rescue drowning man because they werent trained, inquest hears
Police told not to enter river to rescue drowning man because they werent trained, inquest hears
Trump-Xi G-20 meeting offers best chance in months to defuse US-China trade fight
Trump-Xi G-20 meeting offers best chance in months to defuse US-China trade fight
Prostitutes flown in by special constable and wife for sex work at upmarket London flats, court told
Prostitutes flown in by special constable and wife for sex work at upmarket London flats, court told