Bank of England in a Brexit bind
Theresa May will meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Thursday, following a two-day trip to Northern Ireland to try to bolster support for her divorce deal.
May to meet Juncker in Brussels on Thursday May to give speech at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Northern Ireland DUP’s Foster says backstop ‘toxic’ and must be replaced EU is getting serious about no-deal planning
Cabinet Focused on Irish Backstop
May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting focused on the so-called Irish backstop ahead of the premier’s trip to Brussels. May warned ministers that talks with the EU won’t be easy, according to Slack, but that the backstop was an issue for the main opposition Labour Party as well as the DUP and Conservatives, and must be resolved.
The government is treating the so-called Malthouse compromise — which calls for the backstop to be replaced with a technology-based solution to the Irish border — as a matter of urgency, Slack said. The same applies to other options discussed in Cabinet: a time limit to the backstop, and the U.K. securing a unilateral exit mechanism from the provision.
May also reiterated during the meeting that the U.K. must leave the EU on March 29, Slack said, and that Parliament had made it clear it would not support a second referendum on Brexit. The government plans to hold a meaningful vote on a Brexit deal in Parliament as soon as possible, he said.
May will stay in Northern Ireland following her speech at 3 p.m., and will hold meetings with political parties in the region on Wednesday, Slack said. That means her de facto deputy, David Lidington, will take Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament in her place.
May to Meet Juncker on Thursday
May will hold Brexit talks with European Union officials in Brussels on Thursday, an EU spokesman said.
May will meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, his spokesman, Margaritis Schinas told reporters. “The prime minister will come along to spell out her ideas to us about what comes next,” he said. “The EU’s position is clear and indeed we are waiting once again to hear what the prime minister has to tell us.”