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Brexit: British Ministers Split over Next Steps If May’s Deal Fails

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Local Editor

British ministers are divided over the government’s next steps if Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the European Union is not approved by parliament next month.

With just less than 100 days until Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, deep divisions in parliament raised the chances of leaving without a deal and increased calls for a second referendum to break the deadlock.

In this respect, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said late on Wednesday there would be a “plausible argument” for another referendum if parliament failed to reach a consensus on the way forward, something May has repeatedly ruled out.

For her part, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said a so-called “people’s vote” would be unacceptable and a “managed” no deal would be an alternative.

“A managed no deal would simply mean that it was agreed on both sides that there would be bilateral arrangements that we would have some forms of mitigation,” Leadsom told Sky News. “That would be possible should it come to that.”

May pulled a vote on her deal from parliament earlier this month after admitting it would be defeated.

The PM is seeking “assurances” from EU leaders over the so-called Irish backstop, an insurance policy to avoid a hard border between the British province and EU-member Ireland that its critics fear will trap Britain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely.

Leadsom said the government “intends and expects” to get May’s deal through parliament when it brings it back for a vote in mid-January.

May repeatedly said that if her deal is rejected then the world’s fifth largest economy might have to leave without a deal - the nightmare option for big business - or that Brexit might be thwarted altogether.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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