U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is on her way to Brussels to fight to save her Brexit deal.
May will meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday and try to secure legally-binding changes to the withdrawal agreement they struck last year, Bloomberg reports.
These changes, which center on the controversial Irish backstop — an insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland — are crucial if May is to have the Brexit deal signed off by U.K. parliament at a binding vote later this month.
But EU officials are reluctant to renegotiate the terms of the original accord, which was overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Commons in January. “I’m losing my time with this Brexit,” Juncker told a news conference in Stuttgart, Germany.
May’s last-minute dash comes as U.K. business and finance continues to prepare for the worst-case scenario of a no-deal Brexit on March 31. Stock exchanges in the City of London are busy testing their systems in new EU hubs to ensure banks and fund managers can continue to trade shares if a disorderly split makes dealing across borders difficult.
On Monday, seven members of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party quit, in part, because of frustration with their leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy. They have since been joined by an eighth member, Joan Ryan, as both Labour and May’s ruling Conservatives risk losing MPs amid the continued uncertainty and anger over Brexit.
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