Multiple reports today suggested Theresa May is trying to get a deal agreed on her own side within 48 hours. Otherwise there will not be enough time to arrange a special November summit with the other 27 EU leaders. A government source told Sky News: “Realistically at some stage on Wednesday is as late as it can go”.
Theresa May tells MPs the Brexit divorce agreement with Brussels is now 95% settled, but insisted she will not accept any final deal that creates a customs border in the Irish Sea. It comes after an estimated 700,000 protesters marched through London on Saturday demanding a “People’s Vote” on the terms of a deal, and a wave of speculation in the Sunday newspapers that a vote of no confidence in the prime minister could be imminent.
European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday a Brexit deal with the United Kingdom was 90 percent done, although there was still a chance no accord would be reached due to ongoing stumbling blocks over the Irish border. “Ninety percent of the accord on the table has been agreed with Britain,” European Union negotiator Michel Barnier told France Inter radio.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Thursday he would advise Labour Party lawmakers to vote down a Brexit divorce deal that Theresa May is trying to clinch with the European Union.
“My view is this only happens if there is blockage in parliament. But if there is blockage in parliament it is a very simple argument. You say look we have been two and a bit years trying to reach an agreement that works, parliament is blocked.”
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said to a standing ovation: “As it stands, Labour will vote against the Chequers plan or whatever is left of it and oppose leaving the EU with no deal. And it is inconceivable that we should crash out of Europe with no deal – that would be a national disaster. That is why if parliament votes down a Tory (Conservative) deal or the government fails to reach any deal at all we would press for a general election.”
With just over six months until Britain leaves the European Union, Theresa May has yet to reach a deal with Brussels on the terms of the divorce, and her plan for future trade ties has been rebuffed by both the EU and many lawmakers in her own party. Keir Starmer said: “Everybody recognises the talks are going badly and it looks as though we’re heading for a bad deal or even no deal. We, the Labour Party, are going to vote down a bad deal or we’re going to vote down no deal because that is not good for our country nor is it what people voted for.”