'Time is running out on Brexit,' Dutch prime minister says

'Time is running out on Brexit,' Dutch prime minister says

May told members of Parliament that she planned to change the law so that a rule giving them 21 days to consider new treaties wouldn't apply to any deal she gets with the European Union.

Just 45 days to the March 29 Brexit deadline, the prime minister asked for support in her bid to seek changes to the Irish backstop in a vote on Thursday.

"By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers' rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this house can support".

"The talks are at a crucial stage", Mrs May added.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, May said she was not yet ready to put an alternative Brexit deal before parliament, saying it may take time to get a revised deal from Brussels.

But the opposition was having none of this.

She promised to update Parliament at the end of the month but there is growing concern the talks will drag on into March and that the last chance to strike a deal will be at a two-day summit of European Union leaders starting on March 21, just eight days before the United Kingdom is slated to leave the bloc.

The UK and EU made a commitment to avoid physical barriers or checks on the border if no UK-EU trade deal is agreed before the Brexit transition period ends. The EU and Ireland have insisted the backstop must remain in order to uphold the provisions of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended decades of sectarian violence and eliminated border controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit, said Monday he found Corbyn's proposal "interesting".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement following winning a confidence vote, after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 16, 2019.

The political impasse leaves Britain lurching toward a chaotic no-deal departure that could be costly for businesses and ordinary people in both the United Kingdom and the EU. The prime minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months [that no-deal remains an option].

Mr Corbyn said Mrs May "is playing for time and playing with people's jobs, our economic security and the future of our industry".

Earlier in the day, the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom refused to rule out delaying the British parliamentary vote until as late as the week prior to Brexit, following an European Union summit scheduled for March 21. She said Mrs May would bring her deal back to Parliament for a vote "as soon as the issue around the backstop has been sorted out".

"It is a negotiation".

"It is actually a reckless policy", Labour's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

Business leaders have argued that a no-deal Brexit would spell disaster for the UK's economy.

Figures released this week showed the British economy barely expanding at the end of previous year, as business investment, manufacturing output and construction all declined.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned on Tuesday that the U.K economy could face a shock from a no-deal Brexit.

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