'What game are they playing?' leader of British parliament asks of EU

Britain's Conservative Party's leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom arrives in Downing Street in London, Britain January 29, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters London, UK Mar 09, 2019, 05.24 PM (IST)

The leader of Britain's parliament said she was beginning to wonder what game the European Union was playing over Brexit as relations between London and Brussels deteriorated ahead of a vote by lawmakers next week.

Less than three weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to secure the changes to the divorce agreement needed to gain the support of lawmakers, who handed the government a record defeat in a vote on the deal in January.

On Friday, the EU's chief negotiator put forward a proposal that was designed to keep open the border between Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland after Brexit. Within minutes the offer had been rejected by London.

"There is still hope, but I have to say I'm deeply disappointed with what we're hearing coming out of the EU," Andrea Leadsom told Reuters. "I do have to ask myself what game are they playing here."

Lawmakers will vote again on Tuesday on whether to accept the deal struck by May.

Asked who would be to blame if May loses the parliamentary vote again, Leadsom said: "I would point to the EU needing to work closely with us.

"We are hoping we will be able to win that vote but that does depend on the EU coming to the table and taking seriously the (UK's) proposals."


 

Story highlights

Less than three weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to secure the changes to the divorce agreement needed to gain the support of lawmakers.