British prime minister Theresa May seeking significant changes to Brexit divorce deal
LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said she is seeking to renegotiate the Brexit divorce deal agreed with the European Union to secure “significant” changes although this is likely to face strong resistance from the bloc.
“What I am talking about is not a further exchange of letters but a significant and legally binding change to the withdrawal agreement,” May told parliament on Tuesday.
“Negotiating such a change will not be easy. It will involve reopening the withdrawal agreement, a move for which I know there is limited appetite among our European partners.”
"The time has come for words to be matched by deeds," she told the House of Commons.
"If you want to tell Brussels what this House will accept, you have to vote for it. If you want to leave with a deal, you have to vote for it. If you want Brexit, you have to vote for Brexit.”
She added: "The odds of success become far longer if this House ties one hand behind my back. So I call on the House to give me the mandate I need to deliver a deal this House can support. Do that and I can work to reopen the withdrawal agreement."
However, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he believed the government would have to delay departure from the EU as time runs out to get a deal with Brussels.
"Whatever happens in the votes that follow it has now become inevitable that the government will have to extend Article 50 in any scenario," Corbyn said in parliament before a vote on ways to alter and shape Prime Minister Theresa May's next steps on Brexit.