Brexit: two-year transition period could be extended

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Addressing the issue of immigration, a concern for many businesses who fear they will face skills gaps after Brexit, May will promise to introduce "more streamlined application processes" that will "attract the brightest and the best from around the world".

One pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker, Simon Clarke, urged wavering colleagues Monday to join the rebellion, saying "it is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks".

Luxembourg's foreign minister says there is "no better" Brexit deal for Britain than the one that was finalized last week.

He used a column in Monday's Telegraph to describe the agreement as a "585-page fig-leaf [that] does nothing to cover the embarrassment of our total defeat".

This could be necessary if both sides fail to reach a full agreement on the future relationship between Brussels and the United Kingdom, and could be a replacement for activating the so-called "backstop" arrangements to keep the Irish border open.

Barnier wouldn't give a specific end-date for the extension.

Speaking as he left the JMC, Mr Russell said Mrs May's deal was "an emergency" that "must be stopped".

"Some politicians get so embroiled in the intricacies of their argument they forget it is not about this theory or that theory, or does it make me look good", she added.

Ministerial roles went to Stephen Hammond in the Health Department and John Penrose in the Northern Ireland Office, while Kwasi Kwarteng takes up a junior role in Mr Barclay's department.

CBI chief Carolyn Fairbairn gave qualified support for May's draft deal, telling the conference that "it is not ideal, it is a compromise, but it is hard-won progress".

The embattled premier, whose cabinet grudgingly approved her European Union divorce draft last week, faces an uphill challenge to pass her deal through a sceptical parliament.

Bluemel said: "Of course I hope that all stand by what has been negotiated".

"There are plenty of Conservative MPs who would not countenance us leaving without a deal and I think if it's necessary, we will work together to stop no deal happening", shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said.

In Brussels, Austria's minister for Europe, Gernot Bluemel, struck a more melancholy tone.

Despite confident predictions from Tory rebels that a no confidence vote would be held as soon as Tuesday, the extra letters from Conservative MPs needed to trigger a ballot failed to materialise on Monday. He said that "a painful week in European politics is starting". "It is the future relationship that delivers on the Brexit vote". "Otherwise we've got the cliff edge in March next year".

Raab later told the BBC he would vote against the Brexit deal in parliament, but had not submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

May tried to build public and business support for the deal on Monday, telling business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry that it "fulfils the wishes of the British people" to leave the European Union, by taking back control of the U.K.'s laws, money and borders.

There has been widespread criticism of the 585-page withdrawal agreement - published alongside a shorter document setting out what the United Kingdom and EU's future relationship could look like - which is set be signed off at a summit next week.



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