No-deal Brexit UK lorry exercise gets under way

No-deal Brexit UK lorry exercise gets under way

No-deal Brexit UK lorry exercise gets under way

The Prime Minister has warned she could cancel MPs' recess and force them to sit at weekends as she ramps up plans to get her Brexit deal through by March 29.

As MPs prepare to return to Westminster with a crunch Commons vote looming on the Withdrawal Agreement thrashed out with Brussels, the Prime Minister said no alternative plan was able to respect the 2016 referendum result, protect jobs and provide certainty to citizens and businesses.

Facing defeat in parliament last month, May postponed a vote on her deal and pledged to seek further political and legal assurances from the EU.

"We're going to be in uncharted territory if this deal does not go through", May warned in an interview with the BBC.

"It's still hard to see any upside to Brexit", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which said new auto sales in 2018 fell at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago. While one lorry driver taking part in the government's no-deal Brexit operation appeared very relaxed with it all, tweeting from his cabin that he had his "feet up drinking coffee". "She wouldn't have invited us to come in and see her if she didn't".

"Don't' let the search for the flawless become the enemy of the good", May said.

Wall Street Journal editor-at-large Gerry Baker says British PM Theresa May survived her party's no-confidence vote because there is no time to elect a new leader before the January 21 deadline for the Brexit deal to be finalized.

Mrs May said the vote in parliament would be around 15 January, despite newspaper reports that she could delay it. Mrs May said it would be "that sort of time". "We have got a week".

But the DUP - whose 10 MPs Mrs May depends on for a majority - remained implacably opposed to the deal and the "toxic" Irish backstop.

"The EU has shown in the past that it will move but only if faced with a resolute red line on the part of the United Kingdom government", deputy DUP leader Nigel Dodds said in a statement.

Barry Gardiner said his personal view was that it would "make sense" for a fresh public vote if a government led by Jeremy Corbyn secured a "better" agreement with Brussels.

Shadow global trade secretary Barry Gardiner suggested Labour could offer a referendum on a renegotiated Brexit deal.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We do not want or expect a no-deal scenario and continue to work hard to deliver a deal with the EU".

"The reason Theresa May has had such a botched set of negotiations is because of her red lines", he told Sky News.

The criticism comes just days after questions were raised over a £13.8million no-deal Brexit contract awarded by DfT to a ferry company which has not yet run services and faced accusations it copied part of its terms and conditions from a takeaway firm.

Asked if the prime minister "gets it", Dame Caroline said: "Yes, I definitely think she gets it".

Amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Britain's high-drama Brexit process, fears that the country could exit the 28-member European Union bloc without a deal on the terms of its departure have continued to escalate.

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