Britain’s envoy to Germany says the European Union might help avert a “no-deal” Brexit if it’s prepared to shift its position on the terms of future border controls with Ireland.
Britain’s ambassador in Berlin, Sebastian Wood, says that the current “backstop ” solution is opposed both by U.K. lawmakers who want the country to leave the EU, and those who don’t.
Wood noted that Britain wouldn’t have the right to get out of the backstop unilaterally “and many have noticed this.”
He said “this might be the most important question in the coming days and weeks, and the EU can perhaps be a little helpful in that area.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a no-confidence vote a day after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal by an historic margin.
May is battling to save her job after staking her political reputation on a last-ditch effort to win support for the divorce agreement she negotiated with the European Union. Though defeat was widely expected, the scale of the rout — 432-202 — was devastating for May’s leadership.
Immediately after the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a no-confidence motion, saying it will give Parliament a chance to give its verdict “on the sheer incompetence of this government.”
Still, most analysts predict May will survive because her Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party, which supports it, are expected to vote against the motion.
European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says the bloc is stepping up preparations for a chaotic no-deal departure of Britain from the bloc after the rejection of the draft withdrawal deal in London left the EU “fearing more than ever that there is a risk” of a cliff-edge departure.
Barnier regretted Westminster’s massive rejection of the deal he negotiated with the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May and said that any future deal would still have to include approving the withdrawal agreement.
He said Wednesday that “whatever happens, ratification of the withdrawal agreement is necessary. It is a precondition.”
He said that a linked political declaration offered “possible options” for further talks.