May to Brief Cabinet on Where She Goes Next: Brexit Update
(Bloomberg) -- Theresa May is preparing to set out where Brexit goes next after the overwhelming rejection of her deal a week ago. She’s due to present a plan to Parliament on Monday, where members are already working on plans to take control of the process.
- May to hold a conference call at 5 p.m. with her Cabinet on Sunday (9:30 a.m.)
- Liam Fox says no-deal is a real possibility (11 a.m.)
Liam Fox: No-Deal Brexit ‘A Real Possibility’ (11 a.m.)
Trade Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC that a no-deal Brexit could happen. His preferred option is to reopen talks with the European Union about ways to solve the Irish border question that don’t involve the current backstop. Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Saturday that his country’s commitment to the current agreement is “absolute.”
Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer conceded on the same BBC program that any Brexit deal was likely to include a backstop, and said his party would be open to a deal involving a customs union and a single market element -- this could be a shift to the “Norway Plus” option favored by some Conservatives. He said that May’s refusal to shift on anything was the “block” to progress.
Earlier, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve told BBC Radio 4 that it was ridiculous to accuse him of plotting with House of Commons clerks to stop Brexit, as suggested in the Sunday Times. Clerks are paid to help lawmakers draft motions, he said.
Grieve urged May to give Parliament a proper say. “If you keep on trying to deny the House of Commons the ability to have a say, the crisis is going to deepen,” he said.
May to Brief Cabinet on Cross-Party Talks (9:30 a.m.)
The prime minister is to hold a conference call with her Cabinet on Sunday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the matter. She’ll update them on her conversations with European Union leaders and on the talks she’s held with members of other parties.
For the Cabinet, it will be a chance to see if she’s willing to blur some of her red lines on Brexit, which currently make it hard to see how she can win votes from elsewhere in Parliament.
Sunday morning has seen everyone sticking to their existing position. On Sky News, Ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab urged May to rule out ending Brexit negotiations, Labour justice spokesman Richard Burgon said the premier should rule out a no-deal Brexit, and Labour backbencher David Lammy told her to call another referendum.
Amid the deadlock, the Sunday Times reports details on how lawmakers are working to take control of the agenda from May. It’s largely as expected, but according to the paper the plans require 300 members of Parliament -- less than a majority -- to take control of the agenda and start introducing their own legislation. At that point, May could find she’s prime minister in name only.
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