No-deal Brexit increasingly likely, say EU officials

Tuesday, 26 Mar, 2019

Anxious at the deepening political crisis in London, EU leaders last week agreed to postpone Brexit to avoid a potentially catastrophic "no deal" divorce on March 29, when 46 years of ties were formally scheduled to end.

European Union officials said on Monday they had completed their plans for what they saw as an increasingly likely no-deal Brexit, piling pressure on British Prime Minister Theresa May as she battled to persuade her own lawmakers to back a divorce agreement.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, whose opposition has helped sink the deal, said the party's "position remains unchanged".

"Options are narrowing and narrowing and narrowing", he said, predicting sterling would drop to as low as $1.20 with a no-deal Brexit and rise to at least $1.35-$1.40 if May's deal was passed. Nothing the prime minister has offered so far would dampen the DUP's objections, the person said, noting that there was no further effort by the government over the weekend to persuade the party to back it. Addressing crowds on Saturday, he said: "The prime minister claims she speaks for Britain".

According to Reuters, the United Kingdom lawmakers should now vote on a range of Brexit options on Wednesday, giving parliament a chance to indicate whether it can agree on a deal with closer ties to Brussels, and then try to push the government in that direction.

"As the prime minister has said, there wouldn't be much point bringing a vote back to the house that clearly we were going to lose", Fox said today. Some lawmakers have asked May to name her departure date as the price for supporting her deal, though it was unclear when a third vote might take place.

No-deal Brexit increasingly likely, say EU officials
No-deal Brexit increasingly likely, say EU officials

The EU has completed preparations for no-deal Brexit scenario, said a statement by the European Commission on Monday.

The European Union says it has completed preparations for the potentially-chaotic scenario in which Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal, but talks on how to manage the Irish border are continuing.

"One wonders, given the constraints, whether there is anything that Parliament would agree to", he said, pointing out that the Conservative manifesto for the 2017 general election had ruled out membership of both the EU's Single Market and its Customs Union.

MPs will vote on Monday evening on whether or not to hold a series of indicative votes in the Commons on potential options for moving forward in the Brexit process.

"I think (she) is doing a fantastic job", Lidington said.

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament´s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain´s Prime Minister Theresa May listening as MPs speak in the House of Commons in London on March 25, 2019. A British election could be the outcome of parliament seizing control of the Brexit process if lawmakers back proposals contrary to the pledges the government was elected on, Barclay said. "If she really wants her deal to go through Parliament, the PM could still set out convincing proofs of how the next phase of the negotiations - when all key questions are to be settled - will be different to the first", he wrote.