The European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said he is worried at the lack of progress in the latest round of Brexit trade talks, warning that a deal looked unlikely. Barnier lodged his warning on Friday at the close of the seventh round of trade talks, which again got stuck on key issues, mainly fishing rights and competition rules.
Britain’s parliament on Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a national parliamentary election, voting against the government’s request for a national ballot. To call an election, the government needs 434 votes – two-thirds of all lawmakers elected to the 650-seat lower house of parliament. In a vote in the early hours of Tuesday only 293 backed the government’s proposal.
British Prime Minister Theresa May warned on Sunday that failure by lawmakers to back her Brexit plan could lead to its overall cancellation. May is facing opposition and criticism from her own Conservative Party ahead of the Tuesday vote on her plan in the House of Commons. May rejected the call for another ‘People’s Vote.’
The UK has been accused by Spain of “treachery” and acting “under the cover of darkness” in an escalation of a war of words over the future of Gibraltar that risks derailing Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Madrid has insisted from the start of the Brexit negotiations that it would not tolerate the Rock, a disputed territory, benefiting from agreements made in the talks without Spain’s consent.
The British prime minister’s office announced on Tuesday that a Brexit draft was reached by the UK and European Union. Approval of the agreement will require support by the UK Parliament and 27 remaining EU member states. The current agreement covers how the UK will leave the EU but does not address the continuing relationship.
Theresa May told EU leaders that Britain is prepared to walk away unless a ‘workable’ agreement on Brexit is reached within the next two months. European airports have warned that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could cause ‘major disruption and heightened safety risks.’ Police must allocate resources to cope effectively in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain clinched a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, but still faced a challenge in getting it approved by parliament. It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is a testament to our commitment to find solutions,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a tweet a few hours before an EU summit in Brussels.
Boris Johnson has hit the pause button on his Brexit legislation after MPs rejected his plan to get it through the Commons in three days. MPs backed his Withdrawal Agreement Bill – but minutes later voted against the timetable, leaving it “in limbo”. After the vote, EU Council President Donald Tusk said he would recommend EU leaders backed an extension to the 31 October Brexit deadline.
Britain’s Parliament will be suspended for a month on Monday night as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries every possible tactic to ensure the country leaves the European Union as planned on October 31. Parliamentary business will stop after Monday’s session, the prime minister’s office confirmed, meaning that lawmakers can’t sit, debate or pass laws until October 14. This means less time for Johnson’s opponents to stop his Brexit plan.
Despite agreeing on a withdrawal document with the UK, the EU says there is a ‘long road ahead’ with Brexit. A series of EU meetings are scheduled with the goal of approving the Brexit deal on November 25th. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s task is to win her Parliament’s support after two key ministers quit.