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May seeks bilateral deal on Irish border to break Brexit impasse

May seeks bilateral deal on Irish border to break Brexit impasse

Barry Gardiner appears on Sky News to discuss Labour's Brexit policy.

Labour's leader in the Lords, Baroness Smith of Basildon, who moved the motion said: "I was very disappointed that the government didn't support my motion for peers to have the information necessary to allow us to complete our work on the trade bill".

He said he would only enter cross-party talks if the prime minister took the possibility of a no-deal Brexit off the table.

It is understood she will focus on the possibility of changes to the backstop mechanism, created to ensure there's no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, if a broader trade deal can not be agreed.

In a statement to the Commons, Mrs May acknowledged that last week's emphatic rejection of her Withdrawal Agreement by MPs meant that the Government's approach to Brexit had to change.

But following a meeting on Monday, three MPs said supporters of the two plans had agreed to come together and back a pincer movement to rule out no-deal and take control of the process.

Mrs May said that the Government had conducted cross-party talks since her Commons defeat in a "constructive spirit", and regretted Jeremy Corbyn's decision to boycott them.

"We are waiting for the next steps, and are ready to work again on the political declaration".

Jim Shannon, a lawmaker from the Democratic Unionist Party which props up May's minority government but opposes her Brexit deal, said it could be willing to support the agreement she has reached with Brussels if the backstop were time-limited.

Mr Grieve said it would enable the Commons to stage a series of "indicative votes" on the various alternatives, such as a "soft" Norway-style deal or a second referendum to establish which could command a majority.

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Mr Barnier himself said: "We are working 27 as a team, a single team and we negotiate as one".

Barnier insisted that the debate in the United Kingdom had moved on from the backstop to the political declaration and the future relationship.

Following talks in Brussels, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had assured him the European Union remains "firmly supportive" of the Withdrawal Agreement in full, including its guarantees of no hard border in Ireland.

Jacek Czaputowicz, Poland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, has broken ranks with the European Union party line and suggested that Ireland has "treated the United Kingdom harshly" in its demands for a backstop.

"It would obviously be less favourable for Ireland than an indefinite backstop, but much more advantageous than no-deal Brexit". "He has already said what he thinks of it, which is nothing".

Ms Cooper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she believed the Prime Minister was hoping Parliament would rule out no deal on her behalf.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator told RTE: "It's now for the United Kingdom leaders to build this stable and political majority for a deal".

"This news should serve as a reminder to those MPs who want to deliver Brexit that they need to vote for it, otherwise there is a danger that parliament could stop Brexit".

She insisted she was focused on winning concessions from the European Union that could secure support from MPs, but also dismissed calls for the Brexit date to be delayed.

Mrs May faced questions from MPs, including from some of her former ministers, and in her answers she refused to rule out extending Article 50 or getting legal changes to the withdrawal agreement.