May to urge MPs to ‘hold our nerve’ over Brexit

Meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar greets British Prime Minister Theresa May at Farmleigh House last night

The Prime Minister struck a more emollient tone than recent weeks by calling called for further talks with the Opposition on how to secure a Brexit deal that could command cross-party support.

But Stewart said on BBC Breakfast on Monday that the United Kingdom's two biggest political parties have plenty of "common ground" upon which to build a Brexit consensus, despite Theresa May not liking Jeremy Corbyn's idea of the UK remaining a member of the European Union's customs union after Britain leaves the bloc on March 29.

British global trade secretary Liam Fox and Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin signed the bilateral trade agreement in Bern on Monday.

As the Prime Minister prepares to update MPs on the latest developments in the Brexit negotiations on Tuesday afternoon - a day earlier than expected - Andrea Leadsom dismissed the prospect of Mrs May adopting Jeremy Corbyn's "world view".

She has said she wants to bring a revised deal back to parliament for a vote "as soon as possible" but has not yet set a date for doing so.

As the clock ticks down to Britain's scheduled exit on March 29, May is trying to persuade the European Union to change a deal that was agreed between London and Brussels late a year ago but overwhelmingly rejected by parliament in January.

Labour's Brexit policy chief Keir Starmer told the Sunday Times newspaper that his party would seek to use the debate in parliament this week to prevent May from waiting until the last minute to come back with a deal, and compel her to present a fresh accord for lawmakers to consider before February 26.

She talked up hope of a breakthrough with Brussels, insisting: "I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support".

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"We would have to be able to get out by a certain time and we would have to be able to get out of our own volition".

"I think that I would want to look very carefully at what is being proposed, and it would have to give the United Kingdom a UK-sized exit from the backstop".

"I don't think that there is any mileage for the Prime Minister or the Government in trying to do a deal with Labour because they will just try to trap Theresa May", he said at a launch event at Westminster.

Mrs May maintains it would not give Britain an independent trade policy, but Mr Corbyn says it is the best way to protect jobs.

"I'm certain of one thing, is that it's not going to be as good as if they had not been Brexit, that is for sure", Lagarde said.

The Leave campaign figurehead was speaking as Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay prepared for talks with European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier as the Government stepped up efforts to secure changes to the backstop, which is created to keep the Irish border open after the UK's withdrawal. "That isn't right in terms of the respect for parliament", said Starmer.

But she said the Government is prepared to commit to asking Parliament if it wishes to follow suit if standards change.

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