Good Friday agreement in peril over Brexit, Tony Blair warns

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 10, 2019

"No one could responsibly propose (a no-deal Brexit)".

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said Sunday that parliament would get another chance to pass judgment on May's Brexit plan "by no later than February 27".

May will promise parliament another vote on other Brexit options if a deal is still not ready by the end of February.

She has said she wants to bring a revised deal back to parliament for a vote "as soon as possible" but has not yet set a date for doing so.

As the clock ticks down to Britain's scheduled exit on March 29, May is trying to persuade the European Union to change a deal that was agreed between London and Brussels late previous year but overwhelmingly rejected by parliament in January.

But there is no commitment to hold a binding vote on the deal itself by the end of the month.

The former PM said crashing out of the European Union would inevitably lead to a "really hard border" on the island of Ireland and cause a huge split within the UK.

He acknowledged that more work was needed to get the United Kingdom ready for Brexit on March 29, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show there are "still steps that are currently being put in place" but "there is steady work that is going on, 10,000 civil servants that are now focused on this" and the Border Force was "ramping up" its staff.

"We can't allow that to happen", Sir Keir said.

If no deal on the changes to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been reached with Brussels by Wednesday, as seems overwhelmingly likely, Mrs May will address MPs on progress made, say more time is needed for negotiations, and table a "neutral motion" for debate the following day.

"It's this blinkered approach that's got us to where we are, with her never wanting to see where the real majority is in parliament".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Prime Minister setting out five demands that would have to be met for his MPs to support a deal, including a permanent customs union and close alignment with the single market.

It comes as shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told The Sunday Times that Labour already plans to force another vote on the deal, accusing Mrs May of "running down the clock" and only offering MPs a "binary choice".

May will ask lawmakers on Thursday to reaffirm that they support her bid to renegotiate the backstop, a government source said.

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