May Pleads for Unity as EU Talks Set to Continue: Brexit Update
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has started a desperate appeal to her Conservative Party, writing to lawmakers on Saturday to ask them to unite behind her in driving through a Brexit agreement that might be palatable to European Union leaders.
- May said she’s planning to return to Brussels for further talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and that she will speak to the leader of every EU member state in the days ahead.
- The Times reported that Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the euroskeptic European Research Group, told colleagues that Brussels and London were pretending to negotiate while running down the clock so May’s Brexit deal can be forced through parliament.
- British regional airline flybmi ceased operation, blaming uncertainty surrounding Brexit, higher fuel prices and increased carbon costs.
Labour’s McDonnell Says Second Vote Still on Table (10:55 a.m.)
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said in a BBC interview he’s not giving up on the chance of fresh general elections and that going back to the British people on Brexit remains an option.
The party would also look at suggestions from Labour backbenchers that the U.K. hold a confirmation referendum once a deal is agreed, he said.
Number of Ways to Change Backstop, Wright Says (10:45 a.m.)
There are a number of different ways to secure changes to the Irish backstop, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a BBC interview. The objective of removing a permanent backstop is more important than the mechanism, he said.
Airbus Will Need to Consider Investment If No Deal (10:22 a.m.)
Katherine Bennett, senior vice president of Airbus SE, said in an BBC interview that the plane maker will have to look at future investment if there is a no-deal Brexit, echoing previous warnings from the company.
There’s no such thing as a managed no deal, and Airbus is preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best, she said on “The Andrew Marr Show.”
Tories Not Running Down Clock, Heaton-Harris Says (9:52 a.m.)
The Government is not trying to run down the clock to March 29, Brexit Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said in an interview on Sky News. There’s a “huge amount” of activity from the government in trying to secure a deal, he said, citing trips to Brussels by May and other senior ministers in coming days.
The U.K. will leave the EU with or without an agreement on March 29, he said, although a no-deal outcome would be “sub-optimal.”
May Tearing Up the Constitution, Beckett Says (9:35 a.m.)
Labour’s Margaret Beckett, a veteran lawmaker who served as foreign secretary under Tony Blair, said in an interview on Sky News that she has “never seen such chaos” as the current situation in the U.K.
May’s government is treating Parliament with contempt, she said, adding that the prime minister is “tearing up” the U.K.’s constitution, which could have “very grave” consequences.
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