Minister says United Kingdom faces ‘political tsunami’ if Brexit halted

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2019

LONDON, Jan 20 - Parliament can not be allowed to hijack Brexit, Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, in a warning to lawmakers who want to take more control over Britain's departure from the European Union. Some lawmakers are pushing for the delay its departure, scheduled for March 29, until politicians can agree on a way forward.

A stubborn Mr Corbyn said: "With no-deal on the table, the Prime Minister will enter into phony talks just to run down the clock and try to blackmail MPs to vote through her botched deal on a second attempt by threatening the country with the chaos that no-deal would bring".

Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said "it's inevitable" Britain will have to ask the European Union to extend the two-year Brexit countdown that ends on March 29.

"We've arrived at phase three and therefore we need to be realistic about what the options are", Starmer told the BBC. "We don't know if the Brits are well prepared for Brexit".

Britain's political impasse over Brexit is fueling concerns that the country may crash out of the European Union on March 29 with no agreement in place to cushion the shock.

"An unregulated Brexit remains the worst option, both for the rights of citizens and also economic relationships between the United Kingdom and the EU", Bettel told reporters, adding the prospect of a no deal "is looking ever greater".

Mrs May's government is split between ministers who think a disorderly departure must be avoided at all costs, and Brexit-backers who believe it would be preferable to delaying or reversing Brexit.

He said any future talks must see the UK Government focus on extending Article 50 to stop the clock on Brexit, bringing forward legislation for a second European Union referendum and taking "no deal" off the table.

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Worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that "failure to deliver Brexit would produce a yawning gap between Parliament and the people, a schism in our political system with unknowable consequences".

Sir Vince Cable, who spoke with Mrs May on Wednesday evening, accused Mr Corbyn of playing "party political games" and said the Liberal Democrats would no longer join Labour in no confidence votes in the Government.

Brexit Committee chairman, Labour MP Hilary Benn, earlier told Marr Mrs May's "mind appears to be completely closed" to compromising on her deal.

Ian Blackford has written to Theresa May to say that it would be "completely unacceptable" for her to propose only "cosmetic changes" to her European Union withdrawal plan after it suffered a crushing defeat on Tuesday.

Her Downing Street office said on Sunday (Jan 20) that reported plots for Parliament to seize control from the government over Brexit were "extremely concerning".

Failing that, Britain should have a fresh referendum on its membership of the EU. CNN has learned that they are planning to introduce legislation on Monday that would scupper the government's Withdrawal Bill and block a "no-deal" Brexit.

She said her door is open for talks with the Labour leader, but told him: "That is an impossible condition because it is not within the Government's power to rule out no deal".

An influential cross-party group of MPs is moving to wrest the initiative over the Brexit process from UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

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