United Kingdom signs Swiss trade deal as heat grows on Liam Fox

Theresa May plans to ask MPs for more time

The prime minister is aiming to allay lawmaker concern that, unless they vote to take control of the process and order her to seek an extension of European Union negotiations, they will have lost their chance to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Businesses and governments are on edge because Britain is just weeks away from its scheduled departure from the European project after 46 years and still has no firm arrangements in place.

On Thursday - Valentine's Day - MPs will consider a motion on Brexit and a series of amendments, likely to include shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer's attempt to impose a new deadline for a vote on the deal.

The Prime Minister is expected to ask MPs to give her more time to secure changes to her Brexit deal, as well as promising them another say on her plans, in a bid to placate ministers anxious about a no-deal exit.

It is also meant to postpone a revolt by cabinet ministers who want to take a no-deal Brexit off the table for good.

British businesses are also stockpiling goods as March 29 draws nearer, when the United Kingdom will by default crash out of the block if a withdrawal agreement can not be reached. "That gives that sense of timetable, clarity and objective on what we're doing".

"If the meaningful vote has not happened, so in other words things have not concluded, then Parliament would have that further opportunity by no later than 27 February", said Mr Brokenshire.

Brokenshire's promise of another vote two weeks later is created to discourage lawmakers from binding the government's hands this week.

A vote on the deal is now expected to be held later this month.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Prime Minister setting out five demands that would have to be met for his MPs to support a deal, including a permanent customs union and close alignment with the single market.

There are few signs of concessions coming May's way from Brussels.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier will meet on Monday.

The sides are stuck on the issue of how to keep the Irish border open after Britain leaves.

Britain is now one of Switzerland's biggest trading partners.

May's Northern Irish coalition party also argue that it will splinter their province from mainland Britain.

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