Theresa May asked the British House of Commons for more time to change the EU exit agreement. Jeremy Corbyn accuses May of wanting to blackmail the deputies.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked MEPs in the House of Commons for more time to rectify their Brexit agreement with the EU. “Now we all have to keep our nerve to get the changes that this House has demanded and delivered Brexit on time,” May said in a statement on the EU exit. Britain will only be six weeks away from its planned withdrawal from the EU.
The head of government again rejected opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for a permanent customs union with the EU. Thus, the key contradictions in the controversial backstop issue persist. The special clause in the Brexit withdrawal agreement is intended to guarantee continued peaceful coexistence in the former civil war region between the EU state of Ireland and British Northern Ireland. In the withdrawal agreement, the EU has pushed for Britain to remain in the joint customs union, meaning that customs checks can be dispensed with at the Irish border.
Already this Thursday, a new round of voting on the further steps in the Brexit process is planned. If Parliament grants more time to the prime minister, that would be the second extension since the defeat for their Brexit deal in mid-January.
May assured MEPs that, with the necessary back-stop improvements, a strengthening of workers’ rights and environmental protection, as well as a greater role for Parliament in the next negotiation phase, an agreement could be reached that could support Parliament. “Once we have the progress we need, we will hold another meaningful vote,” said May. If there is no result by the end of February, there will be a third round of voting on February 27. She’ll make another statement the day before, May said.
Opposition leader Corbyn did not want to settle for that. “We have to rule out an unregulated Brexit,” he demanded. “The prime minister has only a real tactic, it’s time to stall in the hope that the deputies will be blackmailed into voting for a deeply flawed deal,” criticised the Labor leader, who is calling for new elections.