Theresa May tells MPs to 'hold our nerve' over Brexit deal

Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin right and British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox left react after signing a trade agreement in Bern Switzerland Monday Feb. 11 2019. Parmelin and Fox signed a bilateral trade agreement reg

A video grab from footage broadcast by the U.K. Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit shows British Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons, in London, on February 12, 2019.

May will update the House of Commons on Tuesday on the state of the negotiations, a day earlier than planned to give lawmakers more time to "digest" the remarks before a series of votes on Thursday.

Mrs May sought to buy time, telling lawmakers they would get another chance to alter her course on February 27 if she had not secured changes to the Brexit deal by then.

She also ruled out requesting the European Union to extend the March 29 deadline, although she acknowledged there was little time left to ratify an agreement.

Top EU officials suggested one way out of the impasse could be for the United Kingdom to remain in the customs union, an idea put forward by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to May last Wednesday in exchange for Labour votes for the deal.

In excerpts released before her statement, May says: "The talks are at a crucial stage".

She will urge MPs to "hold our nerve" to get the changes to the Brexit deal.

The opposition was having none of this.

The prime minister told MPs she would lift a requirement for a 21-day delay before any vote to approve an worldwide treaty.

May is seeking changes to the backstop, the backup mechanism contained in the withdrawal agreement to avoid a hard border in the island of Ireland, after MPs asked her to go back to Brussels to renegotiate it in a vote late last month.

Barclay on Monday evening had been expected to argue for unspecified "alternative arrangements", a time limit to the backstop, or a unilateral exit clause from the backstop, which keeps the United Kingdom aligned with the EU's customs union. The free flow of people and goods across the frontier has been an important measure upholding Northern Ireland's peace deal.

Ms. May provided few clues on Tuesday as to how she will bridge the impasse and simply told MPs that both sides "agreed that our teams should hold further talks to find a way forward".

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit, said Monday he found Corbyn's proposal "interesting".

Theresa May was warned she has just 30 days to pass an European Union deal or Parliament will delay Brexit amid a major Government revolt. But any such move would cost Mrs May the support of a big chunk of her Conservative Party.

Mrs May's political opponents accuse the government of deliberately wasting time until lawmakers face a last-minute choice between her deal and no deal.

Distancing himself from Mr Robbins this morning, Mr Barclay said that Mrs May.

The 21-day period is usually meant to give parliament time to study an agreement but it will already have had plenty of time to do so as the deal was reached a year ago, May said.

"So while we will follow normal procedure if we can, where there is insufficient time remaining following a successful meaningful vote, we will make provision in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill - with Parliament's consent - to ensure that we are able to ratify on time to guarantee our exit in an orderly way".

"It is a negotiation. It's not possible to predict the future", Ms Leadsom told the BBC.

The risks to this outlook included: the possibility of banks becoming more reckless in their lending, triggering another financial crisis; the possibility of China slowing more sharply than expected, weighing down global growth; and the risk of imbalances in global trade, and in income or wealth distribution, spurring greater protectionism and "de-globalisation".

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