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Britain searches for Brexit 'Plan B'

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:11s - Published < > Embed
Britain searches for Brexit 'Plan B'

Britain searches for Brexit 'Plan B'

Britain's last-minute scramble to shape its exit from the EU, its biggest policy upheaval in half a century, hit the rocks on Thursday as Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dug in their heels for competing visions.

Mia Womersley reports.


Britain searches for Brexit 'Plan B'

Her big Brexit deal rejected on Tuesday (January 15).

She only just surviving a no confidence vote on Wednesday (January 16).

And now Britain's Prime Minister desperately needs an emergency Brexit Plan B.

Parliament will debate and vote on whatever she comes up with on January the 29th.

Reuters' William Schomberg is in London.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, WILLIAM SCHOMBERG: "The alternatives to Theresa May's plans supported by members of parliament run the full gamut of Brexit possibilities to be honest.

There are many in the pro-Brexit wing of the Conservative Party who say really we should be considering leaving with no deal - they say the economic forecasts of big economic damage are overblown and that we should press on with it and it may even give us some negotiating leverage with Brussels.

At the opposite extreme, you have people who support having a second referendum because they don't want to leave the European Union at all.

In between, Labour's official policy is to have a customs union with the EU, so we leave the European Union but continue to have relatively good access in terms of goods to that market.

But there are question marks over what happens to Britain's huge services industry in a customs union." The main opposition party repeated on Thursday (January 17) it'll only sit down with the PM if she rules out a so-called "no deal" exit - basically severing their treaties with few to replace them.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also hinted he could back a second Brexit referendum if his party's proposals for leaving are shunned by the government and crashing out looks likely.

A YouGov poll on Thursday said 56 percent of Britons would vote to stay in the bloc and 44 percent to leave if there were a second referendum.

Amongst all the confusion, one point of clarity over the timeline for negotiating Britain's departure: SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, WILLIAM SCHOMBERG: "The clock is ticking louder and louder now.

When the vote takes place on January the 29th, there will be just two months before Britain is due to leave the EU.

The Prime Minister has insisted she will not seek an extension.

The European Union has said it really wants to see some sort of progress or more clarity before it agrees to an extension.

Many people think that an extension will be the inevitable outcome of the impasse that we are in at the moment."

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