UK PM Theresa May is seeking more time to renegotiate her BREXIT deal as Parliament threatens to take control over the process to stop the UK opting out of the EU with no agreement in place.
The PM wrote a conciliatory letter to opposition Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, after he proposed setting her a new deadline of 26 February for winning lawmakers’ backing for a final exit deal.
Lawmakers on all sides of the House of Commons are concerned that Mrs. May’s planning to run down the clock to Britain’s scheduled exit day on 29 March, risking a potentially disastrous divorce without an agreement in place.
Mrs. May will try to mollify her critics and earn herself another 2 weeks with the promise of further opportunities to have a say over what happens next if she cannot get a deal by 27 February.
Last week Mrs. May reopened talks with the EU, attempting to change the fallback plan for avoiding a hard Irish border, aka the backstop.
EU leaders, including the Irish premier Leo Varadkar, are refusing to water down the backstop guarantee.
In her letter to Mr. Corbyn, Mrs. May avoided the usual combative tone that characterizes the exchanges between the two competitors, declaring herself “grateful” to her opponent for meeting her last week and for his offer of further talks to break the deadlock.
She promised to discuss his ideas for keeping closer ties to the EU than she’s proposed, while working together to resolve the contentious Irish backstop.
She is aiming to allay politicians’ concern that, unless they vote to take control of the process this week, or they will have lost their chance to avoid a no-deal BREXIT.
If Mrs. May does not secure concessions from the EU by Wednesday, Parliament will vote again on Plan B options the following day.
She will ask the House of Commons to restate its demand to remove the backstop clause from the Withdrawal Agreement.
She will also promise that if she has not a renegotiated deal to Parliament by 27 February there will be another opportunity for it to vote on what should happen next.
The political wrangling will do little to reassure British business.
The Director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, told reporters “we really are in the emergency zone of BREXIT now” with some businesses already leaving the country.