May to meet with opposition party on Brexit
- Prime Minister Theresa May will meet today with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to discuss Brexit and see if the two sides can reach an agreement.
- "I am offering to sit down with the Leader of the Opposition and to try to agree on a plan — that we would both stick to — to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal," May said yesterday.
- This meeting comes after May's withdrawal agreement has failed to pass three times, Parliament has failed to find an alternative through a series of indicative votes and the Brexit deadline, April 12, is less than two weeks away.
Parliament held a second round of indicative votes earlier this week, voting on just four options rather than the eight included last week. The customs union came the closest to passing, but still failed in a vote of 276-273.
May plans to work with Corbyn to find a single option they can agree on to bring to a vote in the House. If this passes, May would bring it to the European Council next week.
"However," May said, "if we cannot agree on a single unified approach, then we would instead agree a number of options for the Future Relationship that we could put to the House in a series of votes to determine which course to pursue."
Meanwhile, if no deal is reached by April 12, no more short-term extensions will be granted by the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today, according to CNN. This makes the chance of a no-deal scenario increasingly likely.
The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Agri-Food Chain Stakeholder Engagement team has compiled guidance on how businesses can deal with a no-deal Brexit. It includes input on how to import fresh produce, how to deal with nutrition information on packaging and how to handle the movement of goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Business leaders say there is still little clarity around what will happen as the U.K. attempts to leave the EU. Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the uncertainty was having an impact on business confidence and investment in the U.K.
"The Prime Minister may have issued a revised road map, but business communities still have little sense of the destination," Marshall said in a statement. "It’s like being asked to follow a sat-nav to an unknown location – with the nagging worry that the directions may yet lead to a cliff."
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