The European Union says it’s ready to discuss a different deal on Britain leaving the bloc providing London change its existing “red lines”. But a safeguard preventing a physical border on the island of Ireland would have to stay, the EU’s chief negotiator has said.
Michel Barnier told the European Parliament Wednesday that the risk of a no-deal Brexit was now higher than ever after the British parliament on Tuesday decisively rejected the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May.
EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici echoed a similar sentiment on France 2 television saying the European Union and United Kingdom were getting close to a “no-deal” Brexit that “neither party wants”.
The EU ruled out any major re-negotiating of the deal however.
“The substance of the deal is non-negotiable”, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told public broadcaster ZEF, adding that if Britain came up with new proposals, the EU would have to discuss potential implications.
May faces a no confidence vote at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday, called by opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
She is expected to win it as the small Northern Irish DUP party and pro-Brexit Conservatives have said they will support her.
If parliament does vote that it has no confidence in May’s government, there is a 14-day grace period in which to pass an act of confidence in a new government.
If there is no vote of confidence in the new government, a new election must be held within about 17 working days, according to the Institute of Government.