Britain to hold special two-year parliament session to tackle Brexit

Britain to hold special two-year parliament session to tackle Brexit

Ridiculed by the right-wing tabloid media and ignored by Prime Minister Theresa May as she pursued plans for a clean break with the European Union, Britain's pro-Europeans suddenly have something they have long wanted: leverage.

The Clwyd West MP warns that any such deal would be a "betrayal of trust" and risk 'a whirlwind of public anger'. A former principal private secretary to Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the career civil servant was later deputy national security adviser before being appointed permanent secretary of Mr Davis's Department for Exiting the European Union in July 2016.

In the political turmoil following last week's inconclusive General Election, there have been reports that senior ministers including the Chancellor Phillip Hammond are pressing for a new approach to leaving the EU.

Brexit talks in Brussels on Monday will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border, rather than on future trade relations with the European Union, it has been confirmed.

"The UK will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the continent", Davis said.

May's Conservatives need the support of the Protestant DUP's 10 lawmakers to have a majority in parliament, and some have called for the government to take a cross-party approach to Brexit given May's weakened position following the election.

Besides forging a deal to keep her job and preparing for Brexit talks, May is grappling with a crisis over the breakdown in power-sharing between the pro-British DUP and the Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein party in Northern Ireland's separate, devolved government. Foster's Democratic Unionist Party has been in talks with May's Conservatives after the prime minister's party failed to win a majority in a national election.

May (pictured below) has been under pressure over the consequences of leaving the European Union, but she has repeatedly said that there would be no change in the process.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said that the United Kingdom should focus on protecting jobs and the economy on the eve of Brexit talks with the European Union.

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"As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach, trying to find a solution that works" for Britain and the European Union, he said.

The prospect of Britain's continuing indefinitely in Europe's single market, which removes non-tariff barriers and helps trade in services, is less likely.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", he said in Luxembourg last week.

But he added: It's a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge.

In this context, both the United Kingdom and the European Union, following a period of disputes and mutual threats in regards to the terms of withdrawal, now seem to have a much softer and more consistent position on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

The arch-federalist former Belgian PM, who this year published a book calling on EU states to forge "a more flawless Union", warned last week Britain could lose its rebate and opt-outs if it changes its mind and decides to stay.

"We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective but in the Republic of Ireland as well, so it is about a sensible Brexit", Foster told reporters.

"As we also said in our Article 50 letter, "agreeing a high-level approach to the issues arising from our withdrawal will of course be an early priority".

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