Theresa May must rule out no-deal Brexit, top UK lawmakers say
There is mounting pressure on Theresa May to take a no-deal Brexit off the table by top government ministers in Westminster and growing calls from union leaders to extend the Article 50.
There is increased pressure coming from Westminster for Theresa May to rule out a no-deal Brexit, with senior government ministers threatening to intervene or even resign in the hope she will ensure Britain doesn’t bail out of the EU without a deal.
The news comes after reports that as many as 20 government ministers have held a meeting to discuss how they can prevent a no-deal Brexit from happening on March 29, which has resulted in the British prime minister forced to face a series of interventions from members of her own cabinet.
No-deal Brexit a ‘betrayal’, says Chancellor
Chancellor Philip Hammond was among the most critical of a no-deal Brexit, with the senior minister going as far as to call leaving the EU without a deal in place a ‘betrayal’ of the 2016 referendum vote.
‘In the 2016 referendum a promise was made to the majority who voted for Brexit – that they were voting for a more prosperous future,’ Hammond said in a speech at Davos. ‘Not leaving would be seen as a betrayal of that referendum decision.’
‘But leaving without a deal would undermine our future prosperity and would equally represent a betrayal of the promises that were made,’ he added. ‘The only sustainable solution is a negotiated settlement with the EU.’
Meanwhile, the work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd took to BBC Newsnight to call on Conservative MPs to get a free vote to take a no-deal Brexit off the table.
‘At the moment there is a lot of change going on,’ Rudd said. ‘I have called for a free vote for the amendments on Tuesday, and we’ll see what position the government takes.’
Union leaders call for Article 50 extension
Not only is May having to face criticism from senior government ministers and rebel Conservative MPs, but the British prime minister is also facing heavy scrutiny from union leaders who are disappointed that she has not agreed to extend Article 50.
GMB leader Tim Roache has become the fourth union chief to call on May to extend the Brexit deadline beyond March 29, so that she is able to provide assurances that British workers jobs and working rights will not be eroded.
‘The current deal doesn’t cut it. It pleases no one,’ Roache said. ‘We need a permanent customs union, legally binding commitments to workers’ rights that can’t be ignored or ripped up by a future Tory government and a policy agenda that tackles the reasons people voted to leave in the first place.’
‘I asked for an extension to article 50 but sadly the prime minister did not agree,’ he added.
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Trading around Brexit
As we fast approach 31 October, find out how the UK’s exit from the EU continues to affect traders, and discover:
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