Barnier: UK has to move on Brexit

May to MPs: We need to hold our nerve on Brexit talks

He was quizzed by MPs about the state of the Brexit negotiations and his views on how the Irish government is handling its side of the talks.

British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May's withdrawal deal last month, with the major sticking point being the Irish "backstop" - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

"It appears the prime minister has just one real tactic: to run down the clock hoping members of this House are blackmailed into supporting a deeply flawed deal", Corbyn told Parliament.

"The talks are at a crucial stage", Mrs May added.

Corbyn also accused the Prime Minister of "recklessly running down the clock" so that MPs would have to vote for her Brexit deal.

Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, May said she was not yet ready to put an alternative Brexit deal before parliament, saying it may take time to get a revised deal from Brussels.

The Irish government and European Union have said there can be no re-negotiation of the withdrawal agreement.

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus out of Tottenham Champions League tie
Vardy was introduced as a substitute after the spot-kick had been awarded and immediately took it with his very first touch of the match.

Parliament is to hold a debate on Brexit on February 14, but with just 45 days until Britain leaves the bloc it is not expected to change the course of the exit process, and no date has been set for another vote to approve or reject May's deal.

The UK and EU made a commitment to avoid physical barriers or checks on the border if no UK-EU trade deal is agreed before the Brexit transition period ends. "In particular, I believe that we have a shared determination across the House not to allow the UK's leaving the European Union to mean any lowering of standards in relation to workers' rights, environmental protections, or health and safety".

According to Benjamin Martill, a Dahrendorf Forum post-doctoral fellow at the London School of Economics researching UK-EU relations, Corbyn has positioned Labour as the "party of the customs union" partly because "it's a good halfway position" that would gather support from some of those opposed to Brexit who would see it as a better option than May's plan, and partly "because it crosses the Conservative party's red lines".

The political impasse leaves Britain lurching toward a chaotic no-deal departure that could be costly for businesses and ordinary people in both the United Kingdom and the EU.

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who is in charge of the parliamentary timetable, denied that the government was wasting time.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and David Lidington, May's de facto deputy, met members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg Tuesday while British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was in Paris as part of a diplomatic offensive.

Business leaders have argued that a no-deal Brexit would spell disaster for the UK's economy. On Monday, figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed the economy shrunk by 0.4 per cent in December and that it grew by 1.4 per cent a year ago, the slowest rate since 2009.

On Tuesday representatives from 32 food industry groups said in a letter to Rural Affairs Minister Michael Gove that the industry was facing a crisis and companies were "now totally focused on working to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit".

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