TECHNOLOGY

The EU will insist on a Brexit delay in YEAR with a "Stop Boris" clause


Theresa May's last European tour to ask for a short extension of the Brexit failed. The EU now expects Britain to remain in the block for at least another eight-month "flextension," which is subject to "stringent conditions" today.

EU Council President Donald Tusk recommended the block tonight to consider a long delay of at least a year, as he believes Ms. May has little hope of reaching an agreement on her deal.

It came after Ms. May first flew to Berlin to ask Angela Merkel to support her request for an Article 50 extension from this Friday through June 30, but the German Chancellor said that she preferred her preference in early 2020 be.

The prime minister is now leaving Paris after talking to Emmanuel Macron, where the French president has reportedly departed from his no-deal threat, but has told her Britain must stay until Christmas.

Until then, Macron also wants a "compliance review" of Britain's behavior every three months, with the risk of discarding the United Kingdom without an agreement if Brussels believes the UK is disruptive. This measure is designed to prevent a new British prime minister like Boris Johnson from causing problems within the EU in order to be released early.

To counter this threat, the EU will make any delay in Brexit "boris-safe" and refuse to let Britain have a say in future EU budget negotiations and trade deals should a new Brexiteer Tory leader wreak havoc. This was announced today.

The Prime Minister's eleventh hours to Berlin and Paris, which critics have described as a humiliating "begging tour", I got off to a bad start when Ms. May arrived and no one was waiting for her on the red carpet after Ms. Merkel, who normally greets guests upon arrival, stayed inside.

And later the couple had a frosty-looking exchange on a balcony overlooking Berlin's zoo, although the German Chancellor smiled everyone when she waved to the Prime Minister.

Before tomorrow's crucial summit, EU Council President Donald Tusk urged the 27 leaders to consider a long delay as there was "little reason" to believe the deal would be adopted by MEPs before the end of June .

He said Brexit should be postponed "no longer than a year," allowing Britain to leave if the deal somehow gets through parliament.

The Prime Minister hopes that her bipartisan talks with Labor will convince EU leaders to briefly extend Article 50 at a Brussels summit on Wednesday before Britain leaves the block by default with No Deal on Friday.

However, talks with Jeremy Corbyn do not appear to be progressing as Minister Dr. Liam Fox Ms. May warns that the customs union with the EU Labor would call for the "worst of both worlds" and that EU leaders are fed up with repeated applications for renewals.

Talks between the government and Labor ended at 5 p.m. and resumed on Thursday, Downing Street said.

EU leaders are preparing to delay Brexit until March 31, 2020. They fear that a new Brexiteer prime minister like Boris Johnson could wreak havoc in the EU at this time.

When Ms. May sat down with the French president, MPs voted 420 to 110 for their proposed delay. The vote was required after pro-MEPs took the Commons agenda and were forced by law to avoid no deal.

The Prime Minister is now in Paris to speak to Emmanuel Macron (pictured tonight) where the French President is said to be ready to dismiss his no-deal threat, but you say Britain must stay until Christmas.

In the meantime, Macron will also request a "conformity check" of Britain's behavior every three months, with the risk of excluding the United Kingdom without an agreement if Brussels believes the United Kingdom is disruptive.

In the meantime, Macron will also request a "conformity check" of Britain's behavior every three months, with the risk of excluding the United Kingdom without an agreement if Brussels believes the United Kingdom is disruptive.

Merkel and May looked serious when they spoke privately on the Chancellor's Terrace overlooking the Berlin Spree and the famous Tiergarten of the German capital when the Prime Minister asked the German head of state to support their shorter extension

Merkel and May looked serious when they spoke privately on the Chancellor's Terrace overlooking the Berlin Spree and the famous Tiergarten of the German capital when the Prime Minister asked the German head of state to support their shorter extension

Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Prime Minister Theresa May on her arrival at the Federal Chancellery for Brexit emergency talks

Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Prime Minister Theresa May on her arrival at the Federal Chancellery for Brexit emergency talks

Merkel and May discussed Brexit and the problems in Jeman and Libya, but officials said the details would remain "confidential".

Merkel and May discussed Brexit and the problems in Jeman and Libya, but officials said the details would remain "confidential".

The heads of state and government of the world hugged and kissed when the Prime Minister left the German capital. Critics in the UK said Ms. May's European tour to ask for a delay in Brexit was a "humiliation."

The heads of state and government of the world hugged and kissed when the Prime Minister left the German capital. Critics in the UK said Ms. May's European tour to ask for a delay in Brexit was a "humiliation."

Ms. Merkel waved cheerfully to the Prime Minister after not waiting for her on the red carpet this morning

Ms. Merkel waved cheerfully to the Prime Minister after not waiting for her on the red carpet this morning

At an EU meeting in Luxembourg today, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Sweden and Hungary announced that they would support a Brexit extension. But France and even Greece, whose economy has been saved three times since 2008, are concerned about the EU's "credibility" if Britain gets a long extension.

At home, she is also facing a growing cabinet revolt. Andrea Leadsom openly challenges the Prime Minister's authority this morning by saying that Merkel should make changes to the Irish border crossing – which the EU has repeatedly rejected.

An EU diplomat told The Times: "If there is a wild Brexiteer as the new Tory prime minister, there is nothing they can do until after March 31, 2020, unless they sign the withdrawal agreement. We're just not going to have any conversations. If a new British leader rejects these terms, it will simply be "no deal" that day and we have plenty of time to prepare. "

Tony Blair interfered in the debate tonight during an interview on Channel 4 News, accusing Ms. May of "putting the people against Parliament" and warned that a future Prime Minister of Brexiteer would be "a disaster" would be.

In the meantime, senior cabinet member Andrea Leadsom has asked Ms. May to ask Angela Merkel to reopen the Brexit agreement and change the Irish setback – which the Prime Minister and the EU have repeatedly declared impossible.

WHAT NEXT HAPPENS WITH BREXIT?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10: EU SUMMIT

Another summit with EU heads of state and government, where May will call for a new delay after April 12.

May's new plan is to build bipartisan consensus in London and convince EU leaders that the deal can be implemented in time for the May 22 Brexit.

It may have to accept a longer extension, which means EU elections will be held as Brussels has made it clear that this is a red line – and without Britain will make a decision on the delay, which must be unanimous.

EU officials, including Michel Barnier, have warned that the risk of an accidental no deal increases if May arrives without a plan.

THURSDAY, APRIL 11: PM'S FACES MPs

Theresa May will return from Brussels with an expected nine to twelve month extension and outline her plans after the EU summit in the House of Commons.

FRIDAY APRIL 12: BREXIT DAY

Britain will leave the EU without an agreement that day if no delay is agreed.

She said: "I think it would be fantastic if Angela Merkel tried to support a proper Brexit in the UK by agreeing to reopen the readmission agreement. There have been rumors over the weekend that some senior members of the federal government would be willing to do so to get Theresa May's deal off the line.

An hour later, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said: "The withdrawal agreement will not be reopened."

Theresa May gave the go-ahead for Britain's participation in the European Parliament elections last night. Government officials officially launched the May 23 election – at an estimated taxpayer price of £ 108m – while the Tories began searching for candidates.

Just last month, the prime minister said it was "unacceptable" to take the poll, almost three years after the exit vote.

It is the clearest sign that Britain is facing a longer delay in Brexit, probably by the end of the year, or possibly even longer.

Brexit talks with Labor resume today, despite Tory's growing reaction to the prospect of a compromise with Jeremy Corbyn, who also wants the Prime Minister to make all concessions "boris-safe".

The Tories are said to have fundamentally agreed to accept the Labor Party's demands that Great Britain will accept all new EU employment, environmental and consumer laws after Brexit.

But Ms. May has not yet stopped accepting a full customs union, although she appears to be on the verge of agreeing with MPs to hold a second referendum.

Instead, the prime minister is touring European capitals such as Berlin and Paris before an EU summit on Wednesday.

May urges the EU to postpone Brexit until June 30, but faces strong opposition from EU leaders, particularly Macron, who are fed up with repeated delay requests and fear that eurosceptic British politicians will try to destroy the EU from the inside out if Britain stays in.

Shadow Environment Minister Sue Hayman, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell arrive in the cabinet today for Brexit talks with the Tories

Shadow Environment Minister Sue Hayman, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell arrive in the cabinet today for Brexit talks with the Tories

At the Brussels summit on Wednesday, a decision will be made as to whether Britain will leave the EU on Friday without a deal by default or whether a longer delay will be granted.

Cabinet bruxitist Andrea Leadsom stabbed May in the back by demanding that Merkel support a "real Brexit"

Andrea Leadsom (pictured today) opposed Theresa May and today signaled a new Brexiteer uprising when she asked the Prime Minister to use a trip to Berlin to call for a "real Brexit".

Andrea Leadsom opposed Theresa May and today signaled a new Brexiteer uprising when she asked the Prime Minister to use a trip to Berlin to call for a "real Brexit".

The Commons chair said Ms. May should ask Angela Merkel to get the EU to rewrite the Brexit divorce agreement and tear the Irish border apart.

After the first hammering of her agreement, Ms. May asked the EU to reopen the agreement to change the backstop – a provision to avoid a hard border in Ireland, even if the UK-EU trade talks failed – and was rejected.

Ms. Merkel herself has repeatedly said that the agreement negotiated in the past two years cannot be renegotiated – a position that Ms. May has publicly accepted.

But Ms. Leadsom has become a villain today, insisting that she heard "rumors" that the German government could finally be ready to move in the eleventh hour.

In a further escalation of a Brexiteer revolt, Commerce Secretary Liam Fox wrote to Tory MPs to insist that a lasting customs union with the EU was the "worst of both worlds".

Mr Macron wants to get the UK under control by calling for "strict" conditions when Article 50 is extended at a Brussels summit on Wednesday – or he will be pushing for no deal on Friday at 11pm.

Opinions differ on what Brussels UK should offer – in addition to Macron's hardline, Jean Claude Juncker and Ireland are pushing for a one-year "extension" until March 31, 2020 and May, and require a short delay until June 30.

French President Emmanuel Macron is ready to inform Ms. May and the EU that Brexit cannot be delayed beyond December 2019, according to Buzzfeed News.

Macron could still choose not to say Ms. May, as General Charles de Gaulle of France did twice when he vetoed Britain's application to join the EEC in the 1960s.

At the time, it was claimed that de Gaulle got his own back for the wartime years when Churchill insulted him.

He argued that Britain was too submissive to its transatlantic alliance to be a loyal part of what it saw as a new European economic and political force. General de Gaulle resigned in 1969 – and Britain joined the EEC in 1973.

Yesterday, ERG rebel Mark Francois wrote a letter to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the committee in 1922, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday asking for a vote of no confidence in Ms. May's leadership – just when she arrived in Brussels.

Mr Francois, a former TA officer who described his time as Minister for Europe as "his trip" said today: "I think May was a failure as the leader of our party, whom she is now threatening to destroy.

"Yours is a classic example of hubris – and after hubris comes Nemesis and after Nemesis comes psoriasis, the reason why we are itching to leave Europe."

A formal vote of confidence for Ms. May as a conservative leader can only be held in December after she has survived an earlier attempt to oust her by 200 votes to 117 and has given her a 12-month grace period, during which no challenge is allowed.

Sir Graham said the 1922 Committee had no intention of approving Mr. Francois' proposal. "There is no intention to continue," he said.

Theresa May leaves Downing Street to travel to Germany and then France, where she will meet Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron for talks four days before Britain's exit from the EU

Theresa May leaves Downing Street to travel to Germany and then France, where she will meet Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron for talks four days before Britain's exit from the EU

Philip May looked thoughtful when he waved his wife away on her European tour when she tried again to delay Brexit

Philip May looked thoughtful when he waved his wife away on her European tour when she tried again to delay Brexit

An email (left) sent by Tory's candidate chief Gareth Fox tonight said that Britain would vote in the European elections

Party leader Brandon Lewis then rowed back on his comments

An email (left) sent by Tory's candidate chief Gareth Fox tonight said that Britain would vote in the European elections. But party leader Brandon Lewis then rowed back to his remarks (right)

The IMF warns of a two-year recession in the UK if there is a no deal Brexit

A no-derl Brexit could cut Britain's forecast GDP by 3.5% by 2021 and trigger a recession, experts said today.

Britain's exit from the EU would reduce the country's production potential by almost 3 percent in the long term, the International Monetary Fund warned.

In its biannual global economic outlook, the global organization downgraded the UK GDP growth forecast last October from 1.5% to 1.2% in 2019 and from 1.5% to 1.4% in 2020.

However, if this were cut by 3% in the event of a no deal, it would lead Britain into recession, as the IMF figures show.

A no-deal exit from the EU that seriously disrupts supply chains and increases trade costs would have "major and lasting negative effects" on the UK and EU economies, with Britain being the hardest hit, the IMF said.

However, she warned that the forecasts require an orderly exit from the EU with an agreement and a gradual transition to the new regime.

The actual result was "surrounded by uncertainty" about whether an agreement could be reached.

Other Tory backers told Ms. May that she was "the problem" now and asked her to resign. Members of the 1922 committee met Ms. May on Downing Street and told her that party fans had turned against her at the weekend.

The Daily Telegraph claimed that Ms. May had received the MPs in silence and would not discuss her future when the backers said she was causing "harm" to the party.

After four days of inactivity, high-profile personalities, including Theresa May's deputy David Lidington and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, are expected to resume face-to-face discussions to find a Brexit compromise.

Mr. Corbyn posted gloomy news last night and accused Ms. May of refusing to give up key elements of her business.

The Labor leader said: "We are ready to speak and express our opinions, but conversations must mean movement and nothing has changed on these red lines so far."

Last night it was alleged that Ms. May had considered taking the dramatic step of offering MPs a separate vote to hold a second referendum to release the agreement with Labor.

Sir Keir told Labor MPs at a private meeting that ministers had not yet given in to the party's central demand that Britain should join a permanent customs union.

He said Ms. May still believed that her business would have resulted in a customs union, "if only we had looked a little harder."

However, Tory sources insisted that a cross-party deal was still possible. "We are a million miles from this collapsing thing," said a source familiar with the conversation.

The Prime Minister warned last week that an agreement with Labor could be the "only way" to achieve orderly Brexit next month after MEPs decided to reject their own plans for the third time. She had hoped that an agreement would be reached in good time that she could present to EU leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels.

Both sides are expected to agree on an agreement to ensure that, after Brexit, Britain keeps pace with EU laws on workers' rights and the environment. However, no agreement has yet been reached on possible customs agreements.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Theresa May to Berlin

French President Emmanuel Macron

Theresa May's trips to Berlin and Paris today are said to ask for an extension of Article 50, but Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are likely to say that Britain is losing many of its powers

And the Brexiteer ministers are asking Ms. May to reject Labor's call for a "Boris lock" for any soft Brexit compromise that would prevent a future Tory leader from tearing him apart.

What are the European Parliament elections and why do they cost £ 108m?

European Parliament elections are held every five years.

The last election in 2014 cost £ 108m and is expected to cost a similar amount to the taxpayer this time we participate.

The UK is currently returning 73 MPs from 12 electoral regions to a 751-member parliament, which sits alternately in Brussels and Strasbourg.

The system for selecting MPs is different from that for the Westminster election, in which you vote for a candidate who represents a particular constituency. "

Instead, different forms of proportional representation are used so that in each of the 12 regions of the UK, between three and ten MEPs are selected to represent each and every person in them.

The 73 British MPs currently consist of 19 Labor, 18 Tory, ten independent, seven Ukip, seven Brexit parties, three Greens, two SNP and one each for the Lib Dems, Ulster Unionists, the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Fein and Plaid Cymru and the Social Democratic Party.

There is also a free space.

A Tory source said Commons leader Andrea Leadsom had argued with Ms. May yesterday on talks with ministers such as Liz Truss, Liam Fox, and Michael Gove.

Attorney General Robert Buckland said Ms. May was right to seek a deal with Mr. Corbyn and predicted, "An approximation to a customs agreement or union would be the most likely outcome." And former Tory Secretary Nick Boles said there was "a fairly reasonable chance of a deal," adding, "In substance they are much closer than people could possibly imagine."

Michel Barnier, chief negotiator at the European Commission, said the policy statement could be changed "extremely quickly" if necessary to start a customs union.

Senior ministers continued to warn against joining such an agreement. When asked whether the government was ready to agree to a customs union, international trade minister Liam Fox said "no".

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said the talks with Labor "are not the only show in town" and added, "I have always believed that a customs union was not the best deal for Britain."

Boris Johnson said: "If the UK committed to staying in the Customs Union, it would make the outcome of the referendum a complete nonsense. Consent to be non-voting members of the EU cannot, and will not, come under the capitulation proposed by Jeremy Corbyn. "

Rebecca Long-Bailey said that the Labor talks discussed how changes to the Brexit agreement could be "anchored" so that a potential future conservative leader like Boris Johnson could not "tear apart" a compromise – a so-called "Boris proof." "Deal.

She said a customs union was "defined by international law" and "the proposals we have seen so far from the government and its direction of travel in the past two years have not been in line with the definition of a customs union".

John McDonnell says Labor will call for a "Boris Lock" to prevent a Brexit deal from being canceled by a new Brexiteer Tory leader, but will only be discussing a second referendum with the ministers today … when the time comes gives

John McDonnell said today that Labor is actively looking for a way to prevent a Brexit deal from being canceled by a stubborn future Tory leader like Boris Johnson.

Before joining the talks between the government and the opposition, the shadow chancellor stated that the discussions would include "how to secure a long-term agreement."

He told reporters in Westminster that given last week's statements that a softer Brexit deal would be canceled or reversed, they would seek a so-called "Boris Lock".

He told reporters: “It has now been raised twice in the meetings, so this is the third time that it has been raised. He merely said that the assurances given so far, given the climate that has been created, do not appear to be achieving what we have set out to do, based on statements by Attorney General (Geoffrey Cox) Boris Johnson – a potential lead candidate, God help us – and then Jacob Rees-Mogg, who obviously speaks on behalf of the ERG (European Research Group).

"Part of this discussion will take place about how a business is secured in the long term and how best to do it through national legislation or contract."

In addition to today's talks with Boris Lock, the customs union and environmental and workers' rights will also focus.

Environment Minister Michael Gove will play a leading role in the talks, in which Chancellor Philip Hammond will also take part

In comments that will spark the flames of Labour's internal dispute over Brexit, McDonnell said that a referendum on confirmation should also be discussed, but there may not be time for it.

"It's on the agenda, we'll see if we can get it," he said.

Mr. McDonnell (far right) came for talks with other Labor front users (right to left) Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir Starmer and Sue Hayman this afternoon

Herr McDonnell (ganz rechts) kam heute Mittag zu Gesprächen mit anderen Labour-Frontbenchern (von rechts nach links) Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir Starmer und Sue Hayman

Die Gespräche werden Möglichkeiten beinhalten, um einen weicheren Brexit-Deal gegen die Nichtauswahl durch einen künftigen Premierminister von Brexiteer zu sichern, wobei Boris Johnson (heute im Bild) zu den Spitzenreitern zählt

Die Gespräche werden Möglichkeiten beinhalten, um einen weicheren Brexit-Deal gegen die Nichtauswahl durch einen künftigen Premierminister von Brexiteer zu sichern, wobei Boris Johnson (heute im Bild) zu den Spitzenreitern zählt

Zuvor hatte eine hochrangige Kabinettsministerin Theresa May gewarnt, dass jeder Plan, eine Zollunion mit der EU anzubieten, um den Brexit-Stillstand zu überwinden, das "Schlimmste aus beiden Welten" sei.

Der internationale Handelsminister Liam Fox – dessen Rolle weitgehend überflüssig wäre, wenn das Vereinigte Königreich eng mit Brüssel verbunden bleiben würde – schlug in einem Brief an Senior Backbench Tories zu.

Was ist eine Zollunion und was könnte passieren, wenn wir nach dem Brexit in einer sind?

Die Zollunion hat sich als möglicherweise letztes entscheidendes Schlachtfeld im politischen Krieg um den Brexit herausgestellt.

Die Zollvereinbarungen könnten über das Schicksal des Gesamtabkommens entscheiden – wie das Vereinigte Königreich bereits angekündigt hat, wird es sicherstellen, dass es keine harte Grenze zwischen Nordirland und der Republik gibt.

Aber es hat sich als ein Hauptstreitpunkt für Brexiter erwiesen, da viele öffentlich und privat ihre Wut darüber äußern.

Sie sind wütend, dass die Annahme eines solchen Gesetzes uns viel zu eng mit Brüssel verbinden würde, ohne jedoch über unsere internationale Handelspolitik zu sprechen.

Was ist die EU-Zollunion?

Die Zollunion erlaubt den EU-Staaten, Waren ohne Zölle umzutauschen und Einfuhren von außerhalb des Blocks gemeinsame Zölle aufzuerlegen.

Sie verhindern aber auch, dass Länder selbst Geschäfte außerhalb der Union abschließen.

Theresa May hat wiederholt klargestellt, dass Großbritannien die Zollunion verlassen wird, während Labour sagt, dass es sie wiederholen will, ohne dabei zu sein.

Wie würde das funktionieren?

Einige Abgeordnete und die Labour-Führung haben die Idee einer neuen Zollunion mit der EU zur Sprache gebracht.

Dies könnte lockerer sein als die bestehenden Regelungen, aber dennoch einen zollfreien Handel mit dem Block ermöglichen.

Der alternative Plan von Labour schlug auch vor, dass es auch möglich sein würde, in einer Zollunion zu sein und die Handelsabkommen der EU zu beeinflussen.

Dies verstößt jedoch gegen das EU-Recht und die Partei hat nicht erklärt, wie dies funktionieren würde.

Viele Euroskeptiker glauben, dass es unmöglich ist, in einer Gewerkschaft zu sein, ohne die Fähigkeit Großbritanniens zu beeinträchtigen, Handelsabkommen anderswo abzuschließen.

Sie beschweren sich auch darüber, dass dies bedeuten würde, die "protektionistischen" Zölle der EU gegenüber anderen Teilen der Welt in Bereichen wie der Landwirtschaft zu akzeptieren.

Am bekanntesten ist der internationale Handelsminister Liam Fox – dessen Aufgabe sinnlos wäre, wenn wir in einer Zollunion wären.

Die Premierministerin hat diese Option ebenfalls ausgeschlossen, aber es gibt Anzeichen dafür, dass sie schwankt, als sie einen Ausweg aus dem aktuellen Brexit-Chaos in Westminster sucht.

Dr. Fox, ein Brexiter, der den schlecht gelaunten Brexit-Deal des Premierministers getreu unterstützt hat, legte seine Opposition in einem brutal stumpfen Brief dar, der vom Daily Telegraph enthüllt wurde.

Aber Herr McDonnell sagte, dass es bisher keine Bewegung in einer Zollunion gegeben habe.

Es kam, als Theresa May hochrangige Gespräche mit Emmanuel Macron und Angela Merkel in Paris und Berlin führte, inmitten der Wut auf den Brexit von euroskeptischen Hardlinern in ihrer eigenen Partei und ihrem eigenen Kabinett.

Das von Frau May gemeldete Angebot, Abgeordnete über die Abhaltung eines zweiten Referendums abstimmen zu lassen, hat die Abgeordneten wütend gemacht, die laut Daily Telegraph bereits darüber wütend sind, dass sie überhaupt mit der Opposition spricht.

In einem Schreiben an das Komitee des Komitees von 1922 sagte Dr. Fox: „Wir würden im Schlimmsten beider Welten stecken bleiben und nicht nur nicht in der Lage sein, unsere eigene internationale Handelspolitik festzulegen, sondern ohne Vertretung der Politik einer Einheit unterliegen, über die Abgeordnete verfügen hätte keine demokratische Kontrolle.

„Dies scheint Labour derzeit nicht zu verstehen. Wie ich auf dem Treffen sagte, würde Großbritannien in einem solchen Szenario eine neue Rolle im globalen Handelssystem spielen.

'Wir würden selbst gehandelt werden. Wie das berühmte Sprichwort in Brüssel sagt, wenn Sie nicht am Tisch sitzen, stehen Sie auf der Speisekarte. & # 39;

Jo Stevens MP von Labour, ein Befürworter der Volksabstimmungskampagne, sagte: „Der Brief von Liam Fox zeigt, warum es wichtig ist, dass jeder alternative Brexit-Deal einer vollständigen parlamentarischen Kontrolle unterliegt und nicht einfach durch das Unterhaus gerammt wird, um eine willkürliche Frist einzuhalten.

"Es darf kein Westminster-Problem mit einer Entscheidung geben, die für die Zukunft des Landes so wichtig ist."

Der harte linke Labour-Chef Corbyn hat die Regierung aufgefordert, in Bezug auf Fragen der roten Linie in den Gesprächen flexibler zu sein.

Bisher widersetzte er sich jedoch starken Forderungen von Hintermännern und Mitgliedern seines Schattenkabinetts, ein zweites Referendum als Preis für seine Unterstützung der Regierung zu fordern.

Nachdem sich Beamte beider Seiten am Montag getroffen haben, werden in der neuen Gesprächsrunde Kanzler Philip Hammond und sein Gegenüber John McDonnell sowie Umweltminister Michael Gove, De-facto-Stellvertreter von Frau May, Kabinettsminister David Lidington und Schatten-Brexit-Sekretär Sir anwesend sein Keir Starmer.

Senior Backbench Tories besuchte Frau May am Montag in der Downing Street, und es wird davon ausgegangen, dass Besorgnis über die Möglichkeit geäußert wurde, einer Zollunion als Preis für einen Deal mit Labour zuzustimmen.

And in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph, Tory grandee William Hague said the talks were 'akin to having a dinner date with a crocodile'.

Lord Hague wrote: 'It is difficult in any case to see how carrying through the programme of Brexit procedures and laws could be sustained by an agreement between part of the Conservative Party and the bulk of the Labour Party – the Government would be highly likely to collapse under such a strain.'

It came as an aide to Chancellor Philip Hammond said he is ready to defy the whips by addressing a People's Vote campaign rally.

Huw Merriman said it was 'likely' his appearance at the event in London on Tuesday would cost him his job as an unpaid parliamentary private secretary.

The MP for Bexhill and Battle – who backs Theresa May's Brexit deal – said he wanted to use the event to explain why he supported a confirmatory referendum on the agreement in last week's 'indicative' votes in the Commons.

Treasury aide Huw Merriman will speak at a People's Vote event today, saying that if it led to his sacking it would be the 'politics of the madhouse'

Treasury aide Huw Merriman will speak at a People's Vote event today, saying that if it led to his sacking it would be the 'politics of the madhouse'

'It has been made clear to me that is not Government policy. My issue with that is that a week ago we were given free votes and I was allowed to vote for this concept of putting the Prime Minister's deal back to the people to get it through,' he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

'If I then get sacked for actually explaining the way I voted in a free vote, that to me would be a new low in democracy.

'It would be nonsensical for me to be given a free vote, to be allowed to vote the way I wish to vote, but then to explain it I would lose my position.

'That's politics of the madhouse and I am just not willing to go along with that.'

The Prime Minister is hoping that her cross-party talks with Labour will convince EU leaders to give her a short extension to Article 50 at a summit in Brussels in Wednesday, before Britain leaves the bloc with No Deal by default on Friday.

However the discussions with Jeremy Corbyn do not appear to be making any progress and EU leaders are growing tired of repeated extension requests.

They are preparing to impose a long delay to Brexit until around March 2020, are fearful that a new Brexiteer Prime Minister, such as Boris Johnson, could cause havoc within the EU during this time.

To counter this threat, the EU will 'Boris-proof' any Brexit delay and refuse to let the UK have any say in future EU budget talks and trade deals until Britain leaves, it was revealed today.

An EU diplomat told The Times: 'If there is a wild Brexiteer as a new Tory PM, they would be able to do nothing until after March 31, 2020, unless they subscribe to the withdrawal agreement. We will simply not hold talks. If a new British leader refuses these terms it will simply be 'no deal' on the date with plenty of time for us to prepare.'

With the country headed for a lengthy Brexit delay, senior cabinet member Andrea Leadsom has gone rogue by urging Mrs May to beg Angela Merkel to re-open the Brexit deal and change the Irish backstop – which the PM and the EU has repeatedly said is impossible.

She said: 'I think would be fantastic is if Angela Merkel will try to support a proper UK Brexit by agreeing to reopen the withdrawal agreement. There have been rumours over the weekend that some senior members of the German government would be willing to do that in order to get Theresa May's deal over the line'.

Theresa May fired the starting gun on Britain's participation in the European Parliament elections last night. Government officials formally triggered the elections for May 23 – at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £108million – while the Tories launched a search for candidates.

JACK DOYLE: So what DOES Labour want from Theresa in return for their backing on Brexit?

Customs Union

Until now, Theresa May has said the UK will leave the European Union's customs union.

The customs union eliminates duties – or tariffs – between member states, while EU countries impose a common external tariff on imports from non-members.

But the customs union also allows the EU to strike trade deals on behalf of all its members.

The Prime Minister made leaving the customs union a 'red line' in her negotiations due to her desire to strike independent trade deals with other countries – such as the USA.

eremy Corbyn wants a permanent customs union. He says it will help protect existing trade between the UK and EU, in particular that of manufactured goods which relies on complex supply chains ¿ links which can break down if goods are delayed at the border

eremy Corbyn wants a permanent customs union. He says it will help protect existing trade between the UK and EU, in particular that of manufactured goods which relies on complex supply chains – links which can break down if goods are delayed at the border

Remaining in the union would stop this because the UK would be barred from reducing its tariffs on imported goods from other countries.

They could only strike deals in the services sector – however this does make up a vast part of the modern UK economy.

Jeremy Corbyn wants a permanent customs union. He says it will help protect existing trade between the UK and EU, in particular that of manufactured goods which relies on complex supply chains – links which can break down if goods are delayed at the border.

Labour also says that remaining in the customs union will help keep trade flowing freely between Northern Ireland and the Republic without the need for the so-called 'backstop'.

Mr Corbyn claims his proposal does include the UK having a say on future trade deals negotiated by the EU and affecting the UK. But this is something Brussels has apparently ruled out.

Despite all this, senior Tory ministers were out in force yesterday preparing the ground for a customs union compromise. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox argued that the customs union might be needed to get out – claiming the UK could leave at a later point and a customs union would not be a 'permanent straitjacket'.

Employment rights

Under Mrs May's deal, the UK agrees not to row back on existing EU rules on workers' rights – such as the Working Time Directive which limits working hours – after we leave.

But Mr Corbyn wants to go further and is demanding 'dynamic alignment' – meaning any future government would agree to accept any employment laws and trade union rules passed by the EU in future, regardless of Parliament's wishes. So what if the EU agreed to a four-day working week, or passed other regulations which would erode competitiveness?

Mrs May claims to be a champion of workers' rights, so this is an area she could argue is consistent with her approach, even if it limits the UK's ability to set its own course in future because we are tied to Brussels diktats.

Free movement

In theory, the parties are not far apart on free movement – one of the central issues of the referendum campaign.

Vast numbers of Labour voters backed Leave because they oppose uncontrolled immigration. This was reflected in Labour's manifesto which said free movement will end after we leave.

For Mrs May, ending free movement is her reddest of red lines. But Labour policy on what migration policy should replace free movement is significantly more liberal than Tory policy. In particular, the Opposition is against the proposed £30,000 minimum earnings requirement for post-Brexit working visas.

Could Mr Corbyn demand this is scrapped and a lower earnings threshold imposed?

For Mrs May, ending free movement is her reddest of red lines. But Labour policy on what migration policy should replace free movement is significantly more liberal than Tory policy

For Mrs May, ending free movement is her reddest of red lines. But Labour policy on what migration policy should replace free movement is significantly more liberal than Tory policy

Second referendum

Publicly, Downing Street officials have not ruled out agreeing to a second referendum.

Yet if anything is a deal breaker, it is a demand for another Brexit vote. The whole point of the talks with Mr Corbyn – and the reward for Mrs May enduring civil war in the Tory Party – is that Brexit goes through in short order with Labour backing.

But a second referendum, with Remain on the ballot paper, would require a Brexit delay of at least a year and the UK taking part in MEP elections next month – both currently unacceptable to Mrs May.

On Mr Corbyn's side, the second referendum is the issue which divides his Shadow Cabinet, MPs, activists and voters like no other. Agree to a deal without one and the Remainers in his party will be livid.

If he wants to deliberately crash the talks, this is what Mr Corbyn's demand will be.

Cabinet Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom stabs May in the back by demanding Merkel supports a 'proper Brexit'

Andrea Leadsom (pictured today) defied Theresa May and signalled a new Brexiteer revolt today as she urged the Prime Minister to use a trip to Berlin to demand a 'proper Brexit'

Andrea Leadsom defied Theresa May and signalled a new Brexiteer revolt today as she urged the Prime Minister to use a trip to Berlin to demand a 'proper Brexit'.

The Commons Leader said Mrs May should tell Angela Merkel to make the EU re-write the Brexit divorce deal and tear up the Irish border backstop.

Following the first hammering of her deal, Mrs May asked the EU to reopen the deal to change the backstop – a provision designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland even if UK-EU trade talks fail – and was rebuffed.

Mrs Merkel herself has repeatedly said the deal, negotiated over the past two years, cannot be renegotiated – a position Mrs May has publicly accepted.

But Mrs Leadsom went rogue today and insisted she had heard 'rumours' the German government might finally be prepared to budge at the 11th hour.

In a further escalation of a Brexiteer revolt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox wrote to Tory MPs to insist a permanent customs union with the EU would be the 'worst of both worlds'.

The Government is in talks with Labour on changing the political declaration outlining the permanent trade deal amid claims she could concede a customs union.

As the revolt breaks out in London today, Mrs May is flying to Berlin to beg the German Chancellor for help as she asks for a second delay to Brexit.

The PM wants until June 30, with an earlier exit if she can convince MPs to back her deal at a fourth attempt.

In an early blow for the PM ahead of today's talks Germany's EU minister warned 'absolutely nothing had changed' in Westminster and Mrs May faces a choice between a long delay and No Deal.

Ahead of the showdown, Mrs Leadsom said: 'What I think would be fantastic if Angela Merkel will try to support a proper UK Brexit by agreeing to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement.

'There have been rumours over the weekend that some senior members of the German government would be willing to do that in order to get Theresa May's deal across the line.

'If we could get the prime minister's deal over the line because the EU have decided to support measures on the backstop then that would be the best possible outcome.'

Dr Liam Fox's letter to Tories blasting a customs union

Dr Liam Fox's letter to Tories blasting a customs union

Dr Liam Fox's letter to Tories blasting a customs union saying it would be the 'worst of both worlds'

But ahead of the talks German EU minister Michael Roth played down hopes of a shift from Berlin. He said: 'It's groundhog day again.

'Unfortunately I have to say that the conditions the European council has decided on in its last meeting have not been met. This means time will run out on 12 April.'

He added: 'Of course the EU continues to be willing to talk, there is also a letter by the prime minister, May.

'We will very carefully have to look at this letter. We are finally expecting substantial steps in the right direction. So far absolutely nothing has changed.

'Of course we are also thinking about such a deadline extension, including a long extension of the deadline, but this also has to come with very strict criteria.

'For example, it cannot be that there are speculations without an obligation of the British side to also partake in the European elections. Therefore we are in a very frustrating situation and the EU has to finally also take care of issues of the future.

'We might also have to give the British side time so they can finally be clear about what they actually want. Apparently the very late talks with the British opposition have not led to any progress whatsoever either.'

In March, the EU formalised new 'assurances' on how the backstop would work, attaching two new documents to the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the EU's Michel Barnier and UK officials.

But the papers were not enough to convince Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to change his legal advice there was a risk the backstop could last forever if trade talks falter.

The backstop effectively ties the UK into the EU customs union between the end of the planned two-year transition period and the start of a permanent trade deal.

Brexiteers hate it because they fear it will be the basis of that trade deal – meaning no post-Brexit trade deals – and it will be impossible to leave if trade talks fail.

The DUP also say the protocol creates a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland because the province would have to stay inside additional single market rules.

The second Brexiteer intervention today from Dr Fox came in an incendiary letter to the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs.

It comes ahead of renewed talks between Mrs May's deputy David Lidington and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer today on a possible cross-party consensus.

Talks are thought to be focused on whether a form of customs union could be acceptable enough to both parties to pass the main Withdrawal Agreement with Labour votes.

But in a letter revealed by the Telegraph, Dr Fox told Tory MPs: 'We would be stuck in the worst of both Worlds, not only unable to set our own international trade policy but subject, without representation, to the policy of an entity over which MPs would have no democractic control.

In a further escalation of a Brexiteer revolt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox (pictured yesterday in Downing Street) wrote to Tory MPs to insist a permanent customs union with the EU would be the 'worst of both worlds'

In a further escalation of a Brexiteer revolt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox (pictured yesterday in Downing Street) wrote to Tory MPs to insist a permanent customs union with the EU would be the 'worst of both worlds'

'This is something that Labour do not presently seem to understand. As I said at the meeting, in such a scenario the UK would have a new role in the global trading system.

'We would ourselves be traded. As the famous saying in Brussels goes, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.'

Mrs Leadsom's intervention will be widely seen as manoevering ahead of the expected Tory leadership race.

She lost out to Mrs May almost three years ago after a scandal over remarks to a newspaper that she would be a better PM because she was a mother.

What is the Irish border backstop and why do Tory MPs hate it?

The so-called Irish border backstop is one of the most controversial parts of the PM's Brexit deal. This is what it means:

What is the backstop?

The backstop was invented to meet promises to keep open the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland even if there is no comprehensive UK-EU trade deal.

The divorce deal says it will kick in automatically at the end of the Brexit transition if that deal is not in place.

If effectively keeps the UK in a customs union with the EU and Northern Ireland in both the customs union and single market.

This means many EU laws will keep being imposed on the UK and there can be no new trade deals. It also means regulatory checks on some goods crossing the Irish Sea.

Why have Ireland and the EU demanded it?

Because Britain demanded to leave the EU customs union and single market, the EU said it needed guarantees people and goods circulating inside met EU rules.

This is covered by the Brexit transition, which effectively maintains current rules, and can in theory be done in the comprehensive EU-UK trade deal.

But the EU said there had to be a backstop to cover what happens in any gap between transition and final deal.

Why do critics hate it?

Because Britain cannot decide when to leave the backstop.

Getting out – even if there is a trade deal – can only happen if both sides agree people and goods can freely cross the border.

Brexiteers fear the EU will unreasonably demand the backstop continues so EU law continues to apply in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland MPs also hate the regulatory border in the Irish Sea, insisting it unreasonably carves up the United Kingdom.

What concessions did Britain get in negotiating it?

During the negotiations, Britain persuaded Brussels the backstop should apply to the whole UK and not just Northern Ireland. Importantly, this prevents a customs border down the Irish Sea – even if some goods still need to be checked.

The Government said this means Britain gets many of the benefits of EU membership after transition without all of the commitments – meaning Brussels will be eager to end the backstop.

It also got promises the EU will act in 'good faith' during the future trade talks and use its 'best endeavours' to finalise a deal – promises it says can be enforced in court.

What did the legal advice say about it?

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said even with the EU promises, if a trade deal cannot be reached the backstop could last forever.

This would leave Britain stuck in a Brexit limbo, living under EU rules it had no say in writing and no way to unilaterally end it.

How a No Deal Brexit COULD happen this week: Wednesday's summit is set to delay leaving the EU by a YEAR – or the UK could crash out on FRIDAY if hardliner Macron makes good on threats

Britain faces the theoretical prospect of a No Deal Brexit on Friday – but few in Westminster believe it will be allowed to happen.

Despite the stalling of cross party talks with Labour, Theresa May appears set on a new delay to Brexit.

She will meet EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday to formalise her request for a second extension to Article 50. Britain wants to delay until June 30.

But the Prime Minister knows she will have to take what she is given as she will be kicked out of the summit while the 27 leaders agree a way forward.

A six-hour debate at the last summit produced a much shorter two week delay – but this time most expect the EU to kick Brexit a year or more down the road.

French President Emmanuel Macron has threatened to veto any extension to end the stalemate. This is by far the most likely route to a No Deal Brexit this week.

Mrs May will have to agree a delay on the night whatever the political ramifications at home – certain to be explosive on the Brexiteer wing of her party.

MPs will have to rubber stamp a change in the Brexit date but it emerged two weeks ago they have no actual power to stop the PM agreeing a change in Brussels.

Before the summit convenes, Labour and Tory politicians are expected to resume talks to see if a consensus on the final EU-UK trade deal can be struck.

Few in Westminster expect a significant breakthrough without a dramatic climbdown from the Prime Minister on her red lines.

MPs are also likely to debate and vote at least one tomorrow. Rebels who forced through legislation to force the Government to seek a delay are likely to get their law finalised tonight, meaning Mrs May will have to hold a debate on delay tomorrow.

And the PM had signalled she would call indicative votes on Brexit alternatives before the summit if talks with Jeremy Corbyn failed – but there is currently little sign of this being scheduled.

What has Mrs May asked for?

In a letter to Donald Tusk she formally requested an extension to Article 50 that will delay the UK's departure beyond April 12 to June 30 – but she also wants a 'termination clause'.

This would allow the UK to leave on May 22 – the day before European elections – if a deal can be pushed through the UK Parliament.

However, this delay is a carbon copy of that sought by Mrs May before the last emergency summit in March – which was rejected.

What has the EU said?

Mr Tusk said that a 12-month 'flextension' to March 29 2020 is 'the only reasonable way out' of the crisis and has urged leaders of the EU's 27 member states to back him at Wednesday's summit.

Such an extension is likely to spark fury among Tory Brexiteer MPs, with Jacob Rees-Mogg suggesting if we were kept in we should be troublesome to the rest of the EU, politically.

And Mrs May has previously said she would not be able to accept such a delay – suggesting it could prompt her to resign. This could lead to a summer leadership battle in Tory ranks before a new, most likely Brexiteer leader, takes over.

What is happening in the cross party talks?

The Prime Minister has said the divorce deal could not be changed but announced last week she would seek a new consensus with Jeremy Corbyn on the political declaration about the final UK-EU agreement.

Talks broke down on Friday between ministers and officials from both parties, despite previous efforts being hailed as 'constructive'.

In a video yesterday, Mrs May renewed her calls for consensus and talks are thought likely to continue today – but few expect success.

If the talks fail, Mrs May has promised to put options to Parliament and agreed to be bound by the result. Time is short to actually call this vote.

In a second round of indicative votes on Monday night a customs union, Norway-style soft Brexit and second referendum were the leading options – but none got a majority of MPs.

What does Mrs May's shift mean?

Mrs May has abandoned all hope of winning over remaining Tory Brexiteers and the DUP on the terms of her current deal.

Striking a cross-party deal with Labour on the future relationship will require Mrs May to abandon many of her red lines – including potentially on free movement and striking trade deals.

To get an agreement with Labour, Mrs May will need to agree the political declaration should spell out a much softer Brexit than her current plans do.

This might mean a permanent UK-EU customs union or even staying in the EU Single Market.

What if Mr Corbyn says No?

Mrs May said if she cannot cut a deal with Corbyn, she would ask Parliament to come up with options – and promised to follow orders from MPs.

In a second round of indicative votes last week a customs union, Norway-style soft Brexit and second referendum were the leading options – but none got a majority of MPs.

They would probably pass if the Tories whipped for them – but it would almost certainly mean ministers quitting the Government.

Can either option be completed before the PM goes to Brussels?

Yes there is still technically time. The Government would have to table a motion tonight for any such vote was to be held tomorrow.

MPs would then have time the following day to debate what was on offer – and possibly suggest their own changes – before it is put to a vote, probably in the evening.

In practice, talks with Mr Corbyn and his team must have ended this afternoon at the very latest to give time for MPs to have their say if she is to make demand to the EU ahead of Wednesday's summit.

When will Brexit be?

It is hard to say – but it is unlikely to be next week on April 12.

Mrs May has asked for an extension to June 30. Donald Tusk has suggested a year.

There are EU leaders like France's Emmanuel Macron who have played Bad Cop and said they want us gone quickly. But others, including Germany's Angela Merkel, has been more conciliatory, suggesting yesterday she would show more flexibility to get a deal.

The PM clearly still wants to get out of the EU before European Parliament elections have to be held on May 22 but this is ultimately up to Brussels.

Will the EU agree to this?

It is hard to say. The EU has said it is open to further extension if there is a clear purpose and plan. Open ended talks on the future framework are unlikely to qualify.

A clear, negotiable goal for the future framework probably would do. The EU has always said it is open to Britain staying in the Single Market and Customs Union.

Will May resign?

Nodbody knows for sure. Mrs May has announced she would go if and when her divorce deal passed so a new Tory leader could take charge of the trade talks phase.

In practice, it drained Mrs May of all remaining political capital. Most in Westminster think her Premiership is over within weeks at the latest.

As her deal folded for a third time a fortnight ago, she faced immediate calls from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn so stand down with instant effect.

What is clear is there is already a fight underway for the Tory leadership.

Does is all mean there will be an election?

Probably, at some point though the immediate chances have fallen because of the latest events. The Commons is deadlocked and the Government has no functional majority. While the Fixed Term Parliaments Act means the Government can stumble on, it will become increasingly powerless.

Mrs May could try to call one herself or, assuming she stands down, her successor could do so.

Would May lead the Tories into an early election?

Unwahrscheinlich. Having admitted to her party she would go if the deal passes, Mrs May's political career is doomed.

While there is no procedural way to remove her, a withdrawal of political support from the Cabinet or Tory HQ would probably finish her even if she wanted to stay.

How is an election called? When would it be?

Because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act passed by the coalition, the Prime Minister can no longer simply ask the Queen to dissolve the Commons and call an election. There are two procedures instead.

First – and this is what happened in 2017 – the Government can table a motion in the Commons calling for an early election. Crucially, this can only pass with a two-thirds majority of MPs – meaning either of the main parties can block it.

Second an election is called if the Government loses a vote of no confidence and no new administration can be built within 14 days.

In practice, this is can only happen if Tory rebels vote with Mr Corbyn – a move that would end the career of any Conservative MP who took the step.

An election takes a bare minimum of five weeks from start to finish and it would take a week or two to get to the shut down of Parliament, known as dissolution – putting the earliest possible polling day around mid to late May.

If the Tories hold a leadership election first it probably pushes any election out to late June at the earliest.

Why do people say there has to be an election?

The question of whether to call an election finally reached the Cabinet last week.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay warned the rejection of Mrs May's deal would set in train a series of events that will lead to a softer Brexit – meaning an election because so many MPs will have to break manifesto promises.

MPs voting to seize control of Brexit from ministers has only fuelled the demands.

Labour has been calling for a new vote for months, insisting the Government has failed to deliver Brexit.

Mr Corbyn called a vote of no confidence in the Government in January insisting the failure of the first meaningful vote showed Mrs May's administration was doomed. He lost but the calls did not go away.

Brexiteers have joined the demands in recent days as Parliament wrestles with Brexit and amid fears among hardliners promises made by both main parties at the last election will be broken – specifically on leaving the Customs Union and Single Market.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen wants Mrs May replaced with a Brexiteer. He believes it would push Remain Tories out of the party and then allow a snap election with more Eurosceptic candidates wearing blue rosettes.

What might happen?

Both main parties will have to write a manifesto – including a position on Brexit. Both parties are deeply split – in many cases between individual MPs and their local activists.

Under Mrs May, the Tories presumably try to start with the deal. But it is loathed by dozens of current Tory MPs who want a harder Brexit and hated even more by grassroots Tory members.

Shifting Tory policy on Brexit to the right would alienate the majority of current MPs who voted to Remain.

Labour has similar splits. Many of Labour's MPs and activists want Mr Corbyn to commit to putting Brexit to a second referendum – most with a view to cancelling it.

Mr Corbyn is a veteran Eurosceptic and millions of people who voted Leave in 2016 backed Labour in 2017.

The splits set the stage for a bitter and chaotic election. The outcome is highly unpredictable – the Tories start in front but are probably more divided on the main question facing the country.

Labour is behind but knows it made dramatic gains in the polls in the last election with its promises of vastly higher public spending.

Neither side can forecast what impact new political forces might wield over the election or how any public anger over the Brexit stalemate could play out.

It could swing the result in favour of one of the main parties or a new force.

Or an election campaign that takes months, costs millions of pounds could still end up in a hung Parliament and continued stalemate. This is the current forecast by polling expert Sir John Curtice.

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