Published: Tue, April 02, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

Parliament considers alternatives to May’s rejected Brexit deal

Parliament considers alternatives to May’s rejected Brexit deal

Cherry's option seeks to prevent a no-deal Brexit by forcing the government to seek an extension by 10 April if no deal is agreed.

European Union leaders have called an emergency summit on April 10 and warned that unless Britain sets out a plan, it risks cutting ties with its largest trading partner two days later with no deal at all.

"Since it took two and three-quarter years for the Government to get what it had negotiated defeated three times, it's a little bit harsh on Parliament, when it started the process last Wednesday, for not having immediately solved the problem in 24 hours", Mr Benn said.

After an initial round of voting last week failed to reveal a majority for any Brexit outcome, MPs will have another opportunity to try to break the impasse.

May has less than two weeks to bridge the hostile divide that separates those in her government who want to sever links with the European Union and those who want to keep the ties that have bound Britain to the bloc for nearly 50 years. Prime Minister Theresa May has previously ruled out two of the ideas - remaining in a customs union with the EU, or holding a second referendum. He added some Brexiteers espousing the benefits of Global Britain striking new trade deals with countries like America are "getting carried away".

May, however, is under pressure from pro-Brexit members of her government not to tack toward a softer Brexit.

The option has been put forward again for a vote on Monday, alongside variations including remaining in the customs union and the EU's single market for goods and services, and staying in the single market but not the customs union.

Asked about his comments, May's spokesperson said: "The PM made it clear that there was a need to bring the country back together after the Brexit vote and that is what they [the government] are working to achieve".

That leaves the prospect of calling a general election in hopes of securing a stable majority government in Britain.

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"The default legal position is that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in government in 11 day's time", Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said immediately after the vote.

Despite the close result on such a momentous decision, May did little to build consensus about what Britain's departure from the world's largest trading bloc should look like. They have urged May not to compromise and to ramp up preparations to leave the bloc without an agreement on April 12.

"My concern is that the prime minister is more concerned to avoid a no-deal Brexit than anything else and therefore I am very concerned that she could decide to go for a customs union tacked on to her deal", Jacob Rees-Mogg said on LBC Radio.

However, Conservative Party chairperson Brandon Lewis said the government did not support any of those options.

The alternative to a "no-deal" departure is to delay Brexit for at least several months, and possibly more than a year, to sort out the mess.

"Brexit is a shitshow, I'll say it quite undiplomatically", he said.

The bloc is reluctant to have a departing Britain participate in the May 23-26 European parliament elections, but that would have to be done if Brexit is delayed. It can gamble on a fourth attempt to push May's unloved deal through Parliament, let Britain tumble out of the bloc without a deal, or roll the dice by opting for a snap election to shake up Parliament.

Concerned that a "purple wave" of UKIP voters led by then-party leader Nigel Farage would return a high number of the party's candidates to the British Parliament in 2015, Europhile and then-Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that if his party won the election, he would hold a referendum of the UK's membership of the EU.

On the lack of discipline in government, he said Brexit brought "out strong emotions" on all sides of the debate.

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