UK: Lack of progress on Brexit - Rabobank

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The British government is continuing to make preparations for leaving the European Union without a deal, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday.

The prospect of a 2019 general election will probably diminish even further, as neither the Conservatives or Labour will fancy giving Farage a shot a re-arranging the House of Commons if his party has just won the most seats in the Euros. Even after the delay of Brexit till October 31 and after repeated failures by the United Kingdom government to get the necessary parliamentary backing, some retain the distant hope that Britain could still leave before the end of June.

Responding to that comment, Mr Blunt said: 'Nigel Farage said he would do a deal with the devil to get Brexit over the line; the Conservative party is very far from being the devil in this.

But he said they also agreed it was "imperative" that any exit plan be approved before parliament's summer holiday, which normally begins at the end of July.

Anger at the Brexit morass is fueling support for smaller parties ahead of a European Parliament election next week. With the smaller pro-Remain parties, Liberal Democrats, Greens and Change UK, competing against each other, the Brexit Party has the edge.

He suggested they try to do a deal where the new anti-EU party "runs in the seats that we don't hold", in an interview on the BBC's Newsnight.

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Established political parties fear that Nigel Farage's Brexit Party will do very well at their expense - and also expect that confusion over centrist parties will split the vote of those who want to stay in the EU. Some leaflets were lambasted by some of its own MPs because they emphasised putting pressure on local MPs to support the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

The shadow chancellor said Labour had not seen enough movement from ministers, especially on the issue of a customs union with the EU, adding: "We're not near what we want".

He went on to say he would be prepared to "do a deal with the devil" for a Brexit which would see the United Kingdom leave the Customs Union, the single market, and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

A spokesman said Theresa May had made clear the government's "determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU".

"Thereafter, of course we're going to put a full slate of policies up before the public - political reform, more help for the regions, scrapping of ludicrous projects like HS2", he told the crowd in Featherstone, near Pontefract.