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No 'No Deal' Vow, No 2 Brexit Ref, No Fee for EU Citizens: No Massive May Change

© REUTERS / Hannah McKayBritain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2019.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2019. - Sputnik International
Theresa May attempted to buy more time to go around the bloc one last time and see if she can get more concessions on all sides of the Brexit deal debate, as she addressed the House of Commons on 21 January 2019.

The government approach to settling a Brexit deal has changed, Theresa May announced on Monday, following a week of defeat in the Parliament and subsequent set of meetings with both British and European officials in attempt to propel Brexit talks.

READ MORE: UK PM May Gives Statement on Alternative Brexit Plan

No Deal & Second Referendum

The Prime Minister said that the only two ways to avoid a no-deal Brexit is striking an agreement with the EU bloc or revoke Article 50, which would mean Britain remains part of the union. Extending Article 50 would not secure avoidance of a no-deal exit, May added.

Overall, in her speech May didn't commit to promises of a no-deal on Monday.

In her statement, the PM also added that the option of a 2nd referendum won't be supported by the majority of the House of Commons lawmakers. Accepting a second referendum will damage the union and social cohesion, May argued.

Ruling out a no-deal Brexit would be a "crazy move," according to the political campaigner Mandy Boylett, who told Sputnik:

"If anybody who has ever done any negotiations at all knows, you can't take your best card off the table… You can't take your most powerful card off the table and indeed if there isn't a deal, which it looks as if there won't be a deal, the default position is that we leave with no deal. That is what all of parliament voted for nearly two years ago."

On Monday, the Work and Pensions Minister Amber Rudd has been reported to warn that if Conservative MPs are banned from voting for a plan that helps stop a no-deal Brexit, Theresa May's government "could face dozens of ministerial resignations next week."    

READ MORE: UK Cabinet Starts Talks on 2nd Brexit Referendum — Liberal Democrats Party

Irish Backstop

On the highly contested matter of the Irish backstop, Theresa May said that she will hold further discussions with Northern Ireland's DUP and others negotiators about their concerns.

Many across the House see the Irish backstop — which envisages that all of the UK would remain in a temporary customs union with the EU until a permanent trade deal can be clinched — as a red line, which if kept as part of the deal, will inevitably lead to rejections by lawmakers.

May said she will take the conclusions of Irish backstop discussions back to the EU. 

According to Mandy Boylett, Theresa May will waste her time, as the EU27 won't accept any changes to the backstop agreement.

"Even if Theresa May gets the backstop removed I still think her deal is a very bad deal. I think she would be better off making arrangements for a no deal and once we've left. Then we can start negotiating things such as the free trade deal. But we actually have to leave because there isn't much time left and there isn't time to do what she [May] wants."

Rights of EU Citizens

May discussed the rights of the EU citizens in the UK after Brexit and confirmed that the government will waive the application fee (£65) so there is no financial barrier for EU nationals who wish to stay in the country.

Those who have and will pay the fee during the pilot phase of the application process will have their expense reimbursed, the PM added.

House Reaction 

The leader of the opposition, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, responded to May's statement, saying the PM is in denial and must change her red lines in order to pedal the negotiations forward.

Before they had the opportunity to speak during the House session, a number of MPs took to social media to respond to the PM's statement.

MPs are due to vote on a Brexit proposal presented by the government on 29 January.

READ MORE: Parl't Has No Right to Hijack Brexit Process — British Trade Minister Fox

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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