British attorney general heads to Brussels for last-minute Brexit deal changes
The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has sent the government’s top lawyer to Brussels in the hopes of securing changes to her Brexit deal just weeks ahead of the March 29 deadline.
In a bid to secure last minute amendments to her Brexit deal with the EU, Theresa May has sent UK attorney general Geoffrey Cox to Brussels on Tuesday.
May is hoping that securing changes to the Irish backstop – which aims to prevent a hard border in Ireland – that she can garner enough support in parliament to get her Brexit deal passed and avoid a no-deal exit.
Brexit uncertainty continues as deadline edges closer
There is just 24 days until Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29. With time slipping away there is still little clarity on how Britain will leave the bloc and what its future relationship with the EU will look like.
In a last-ditch attempt to get a deal over the line, the UK prime minister has sent Cox and Brexit minister Stephen Barclay to Brussels to try and secure changes to the Irish backstop issue, which has divided Conservative party MPs.
Cox and Barclay are scheduled to meet with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Tuesday and will be hoping to find a compromise that will allow Britain to avoid leaving without a deal, to minimise the impact on the UK economy.
‘We all want to leave at the end of this month and it depends how quickly we can get a deal through,” British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt told BBC radio.
‘Our ask of the EU is an important ask ... but it is one ask and it’s a simple one. We need substantive changes that will allow the attorney general to change his advice to the government that says that, at the moment, theoretically, we could be trapped in the backstop indefinitely,’ Hunt added.
Theresa May struggles to satisfy MPs on Brexit
EU officials have been reluctant to offer Brexit concessions, claiming that they require clarity from British MPs over what they want before they will consider renegotiating aspects of the deal.
May will be holding out hope that Cox and Barclay will return from Brussels with assurances that Britain won’t be left in the EU customs union indefinitely to placate Brexiteers in Westminster.
If Cox and Barclay are unsuccessful, MPs may seek to prevent a no-deal exit by delaying Article 50 by a few more months in a vote scheduled to take place on March 12.
Trading around Brexit
Find out how the UK’s exit from the EU continues to affect traders, and discover:
- The unique opportunities in a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit
- The markets you should be watching
- Everything that’s happened so far
Live prices on most popular markets