Brexit talks deadlocked before vote on May's deal

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2019 13:23 hrs
An EU flag and Union flag are seen flying together during an anti-Brexit protest near the Houses of Parliament in London

London: Brexit talks between the UK and the European Union remain deadlocked, just a day before MPs are due to vote again on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal, the media reported on Monday.

May spoke to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night after a weekend of negotiations failed to result in a breakthrough, the BBC reported.

Talks will resume between May and Juncker on Monday with the aim of securing changes to the deal before Tuesday's vote.

The Prime Minister is trying to secure changes to the Irish backstop, an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit.

The plan is widely disliked by members of her party, who fear it will mean that the UK will stay closely aligned to the EU for years to come, without Britain being able to end the agreement unilaterally.

Meanwhile, pro-Brexit Environment Secretary Michael Gove said while the Prime Minister's deal was a compromise, it should not be rejected "for that reason alone".

Gove also defended the backstop, saying that if it were to be used he could not imagine EU politicians "tolerating" it for long.

But former Cabinet Minister Boris Johnson, who campaigned alongside Gove to leave the EU, said there was "no way" he would vote for the backstop in its current form.

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged MPs to back the deal or risk losing Brexit altogether.

If May's deal passes on Tuesday, the UK will leave the EU under the terms of the deal on March 29, the BBC said.

If it is rejected, MPs have been promised a vote on Wednesday on whether the UK should leave without a deal.

If they then reject a no-deal Brexit, they could get a vote on Thursday on whether to request a delay for the UK to exit the EU.




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