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Welsh ministers 'intensifying' no-deal Brexit preparations

21 Décembre 2018

"It would be unforgivable if Theresa May was trying to run down the clock to Brexit day".

The British Cabinet was meeting Tuesday to discuss ramping up preparations for Britain's departure from the European Union without a deal, after Prime Minister Theresa May postponed Parliament's vote on her divorce agreement until mid-January.

Ms Rudd's intervention came after the Prime Minister's plans for securing reassurances from Brussels on her Brexit deal were mocked as "a wee bit nebulous" by Nicola Sturgeon.

If Parliament fails to approve the text of PM May's deal, Britain could crash out of the European Union with no deal - a prospect that experts warn could lead to serious trade disruption and trigger a financial crisis.

However, shadow chancellor John McDonnell later said Labour had won a "victory in forcing the prime minister to set a date for the meaningful vote".

Ms Rudd told reporters she hoped the Prime Minister's deal would be supported in the vote expected in January, but if not, "we need to find out where the will of Parliament is" and "nothing should be off the table". "We are here to act on the will of the British people clearly expressed in the referendum".

A citizens' assembly, a people's vote, and a second referendum, were among the ideas being promoted this week.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said he backed Mrs May's deal but if Parliament was implacably opposed, it should be "invited to say what it would agree with".

"I know this is not everyone's ideal deal".

"I think it would corrupt our politics", he said.

"I'm sure if they put a tariff on, we'll put a tariff on".

Labour had the option of tabling a binding motion but faced defeat after Conservative Brexit hardliners and the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up the government, both said they would back Mrs May. The government has said they can stay, even if the United Kingdom leaves the bloc without an agreement on future relations. However, it is becoming clear the chaotic shambles around the Prime Minister's deal on the table is moving us towards a position that will cause significant disruption, risking jobs and people's livelihoods.

He said: "Far from being anti-democratic it would be the opposite, as indeed many senior figures in her party from past and present have been saying".

- Brussels appeared to dispute claims that negotiations were continuing over the terms of the deal. Previously, departments had been given some freedom to decide when and what they spent.

In the absence of support from MPs for her plan, Mrs May was effectively faced with a choice between the Canada-plus option set out by Brexiteers in last week's A Better Deal document, or withdrawal without a deal, he said. "This is about the health of our democracy".

"There is nothing inherently undemocratic about asking the question again if parliament can't resolve it - and Parliament can't resolve it because we have a hung parliament".

But one of Mrs May's closest allies said "all options" should remain open if the deal is rejected.

"That would be a horrific corruption of our democratic system".

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the European Commission activated plans for a possible no-deal Brexit on March 29, making clear that they are created to "protect the vital interests of the EU".

"A new public vote would be different from the referendum in 2016 because we now know more about what Brexit means".

Welsh ministers 'intensifying' no-deal Brexit preparations