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Key EU Lawmaker Warns UK it Must Act to Unblock Brexit Talks

Image: Key EU Lawmaker Warns UK it Must Act to Unblock Brexit Talks

Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 08:37 AM

LONDON (AP) — A leading member of the European Parliament is meeting Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, and warned that Britain needs to do more to settle the terms of its divorce from the European Union or risk negotiations being delayed even further.

Manfred Weber is due to meet May at 10 Downing St. In a video message he said Britain needs to resolve issues including its outstanding financial commitments, because "when somebody is leaving a club" they must pay their bills.

EU leaders say lack of progress on divorce terms is preventing talks from moving on to future relations and trade. They are due to decide next month whether there has been sufficient progress to move on.

Weber, who heads the center-right EPP group in the European Parliament, said Tuesday that at the moment "it doesn't look as if we are going to be entering into the second phase" next month.

Meanwhile, May's government is fighting in the House of Commons to pass its key piece of Brexit legislation amid opposition from pro-EU lawmakers.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is designed to prevent a legal vacuum by converting some 12,000 EU laws into British statute on the day the U.K. leaves the bloc in March 2019.

But many lawmakers claim the bill gives the government too much power to amend legislation without parliamentary scrutiny. And opponents of Brexit — both from the opposition and from May's Conservative Party — are trying to amend it to soften the terms of Britain's exit from the bloc.

Debate in the House of Commons has turned testy, with Brexit-backing Conservatives accusing their pro-European party colleagues of trying to stop Britain from leaving the EU.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday ran front-page photos of pro-EU Conservatives, branding them "the Brexit mutineers."

Lawmaker Anna Soubry said that kind of language was a "blatant piece of bullying that goes to the very heart of democracy."

May told lawmakers Wednesday that the debate had aroused "strong views" but that the government wanted to work with others to improve the bill.

"I hope that we can all come together to deliver on the decision that the country took" to leave the EU, she said.

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A leading member of the European Parliament is meeting Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, and warned that Britain needs to do more to settle the terms of its divorce from the European Union or risk negotiations being delayed even further.Manfred Weber is due to meet...
APFN,EU,Brexit
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2017-37-15
Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 08:37 AM
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