United Kingdom and Switzerland strike post-Brexit continuity agreement

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

The prime minister wrote a conciliatory letter to opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, after he proposed setting her a new deadline of February 26 for winning MPs' backing for a final exit deal.

But the request was rebuffed by the European Union which has said it will "not reopen the withdrawal agreement".

The British media outlets have reported that UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox was considering cutting the tariffs on imports in case of a no-deal Brexit in order to keep prices low for consumers.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, Brokenshire said if a deal had not been agreed by February 27 then MPs would be allowed to again vote on their own proposals as to what should happen.

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The PM had been expected to deliver her statement on Wednesday ahead of a Commons debate on Thursday, but her official spokesman said the earlier timing would "give Parliament a couple of days to digest the content".

Representatives from eight finance and insurance trade groups met on Tuesday last week with British Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, who is working on the government's "global financial partnership" strategy that seeks to boost London's ties with financial trading hubs after Brexit.

The political wrangling will do little to reassure British business though. We've now got a response from the prime minister.

With just 47 days until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, Theresa May has yet to get a deal agreed in the Commons, while EU leaders insist they are not prepared to reopen the agreement.

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In the event of a no-deal Brexit, these would need to be completed by 29 March, an ambition that many in British business now believe to be nearly impossible.

She promised to discuss his ideas for keeping closer ties to the European Union than she's proposed, while working together to resolve the contentious Irish backstop.

And there were signs of unease in Tory ranks at the idea of Mrs May exploring means of bringing the Labour leader on board in her search for a Brexit deal.

The UK is now preparing for a Brexit no deal and in December the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced a further £2billion in "Brexit preparedness" taking the total budgeted figure to more than £4billion.

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Angus MacNeil, chairman of the Commons worldwide trade committee, said the admission by officials about new trade deals not being ready in time for Brexit was "what has been suspected for some time". But a member of May's cabinet pledged Sunday to give parliament a further ballot two weeks later - a measure meant to give the premier more time for talks with the EU. If it fails again, the measure would require May to request the European Union accept a delay in Britain's exit of several months while a new agreement is negotiated.

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