UK PM May to update MPs on progress in Brexit talks

Exhaust fumes are choking in many UK cities

"It is very clear the government's position is the same, we triggered Article 50. that had a two year timeline, that ends on March 29, we want to leave with a deal and that is what we are working for", she said.

Comments by May's chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, overheard by an ITV correspondent at a hotel bar in Brussels have done little to boost trust among lawmakers.

But several MPs have tabled amendments - which set out alternative plans - including one from Labour that would force the government to come back to Parliament by the end of the month to hold a substantive Commons vote on its Brexit plan.

The UK government argues that the best way to avoid no deal is for MPs to back the prime minister's proposals, which it says are "the best deal available for jobs and the economy across the whole of the UK, allowing us to honour the referendum and realise the opportunities of Brexit".

The ERG looks likely to vote against May's Brexit motion on Thursday, because "it rules out no deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels", according to the group's vice chair Mark Francois.

If a deal is agreed, MPs will have a second "meaningful vote", like the one in January which saw Mrs May's original plan rejected by a record-breaking 230 votes.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May's Brexit deal with the European Union last month, and she is now trying to secure changes before bringing it back for another vote.

Answering questions in the House of Commons, Mrs May insisted the Government's position concerning the Article 50 withdrawal process had not changed.

"Of course we always want to work with the opposition but the opposition has put forward some ideas that are not workable", he told reporters.

After being grilled over the comments by Nick Ferrari on Wednesday morning, Mr Barclay told LBC: "I do not know what Olly did or did not say because I wasn't there".

But Labour pledged to oppose the move, accusing the Government of showing "contempt for our democracy".

After MPs voted to seek "alternative arrangements" to the controversial Irish backstop, an insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, the United Kingdom is seeking either a legally binding time limit to the backstop or a legally binding unilateral exit clause.

May said that if she had not yet reached a deal in Brussels, she would deliver another progress report on February 26 and provide another chance for parliament to express its opinion on her approach the following day.

It is that promise that led to this week's vote.

There has been concern among Conservative Brexiteers that the Prime Minister could concede too much ground to Labour in an attempt to win cross-party backing for a deal with Brussels.

European Union leaders have turned down May's plea to renegotiate parts of the legally binding Brexit withdrawal bill, making the no-deal outcome more likely even though both sides believe it would harm their economies.

With less than 50 days to go to Brexit day on March 29, British firms still have no idea what the country's new trading relationship with the European Union will look like, so they're taking a safety-first approach.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve warned on Tuesday that time was running short for the ratification of a deal under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

What does it mean for Brexit?

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