What are some constructive postponement activities

Brexit: "Constructive talks" between May and Corbyn

London / Brussels. In search of a way out of the Brexit impasse, British Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn held "constructive" talks, according to the government. "Both sides have shown flexibility and commitment to bring the current Brexit uncertainty to an end," said a government spokesman in London on Wednesday.

At the same time, however, the ruling Conservative Party is angry about this joint initiative. Corbyn called the meeting "useful", but there has been no result yet.

Two negotiating teams should be formed for further discussions. On the government side, they include Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington and Brexit Minister Steve Barclay. In view of the time pressure, both sides wanted to draw up a work program together that evening. Negotiations are to take place all day on Thursday.

The British House of Commons approved a law late Wednesday evening that would oblige the government to postpone Brexit again. The bill went through all three readings in the House of Commons in just one day. It was adopted in the third reading with 313 votes to 312. Before it becomes law, it has to be approved by the House of Lords. A non-partisan group of MPs wants to prevent leaving the EU without a contract. Should the law come into force on time, MEPs could order a longer Brexit postponement with participation in the European elections against the will of the government.

Two resignations in protest

On Wednesday, two state secretaries announced their resignation in protest: Chris Heaton-Harris, who is responsible for Brexit, and Nigel Adams, who is state secretary for Wales. They fear that the break with Brussels could not be clear enough. This means that 36 members of the government have resigned in the past twelve months - almost all of them in the dispute over Brexit. Other conservative parliamentarians have announced resistance.

May underlined the common goal of avoiding a disorderly exit from the EU without an agreement. Should the British parliament accept the exit agreement in the short term, EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is calling for Brexit to be postponed again by just under six weeks until May 22nd.

Juncker made this dependent on a stable majority in London for the EU exit treaty being achieved before April 12th. That is the day for which Brexit is planned according to the current status. Two days in advance - on Wednesday next week - a special EU summit is to decide how things will go with Brexit.

The British House of Commons has already rejected May's exit agreement with the EU three times - but has not yet been able to agree on another Brexit variant. In order to break the blockade, the head of government announced on Tuesday evening that she would apply for another brief postponement of the exit from the EU and look for a cross-party compromise together with opposition leader Corbyn.

No extension of the deadline beyond May 22nd

The extension of the deadline should not go beyond May 22nd - the day before the start of the European elections. May absolutely wants to avoid the British having to vote again. April 12th is the date until which Britain has to decide whether to vote in accordance with British law.

So the hope is to leave the EU with a treaty on May 22nd. Then a transition period could come into force until the end of 2020 to avoid chaos. However, the government confirmed that it had instructed the electoral commission to prepare for participation in the European elections as a precautionary measure.

Dramatic U-turn

May's announcement is a dramatic U-turn. So far she had refused to make concessions to the opposition. Because this wants a softer form of Brexit. Corbyn's Labor Party demands, among other things, that Great Britain should remain in a customs union with the EU and seek close ties to the internal market.

If neither the exit agreement nor an alternative is resolved by April 12, there is a risk of a disorderly exit from the EU with drastic consequences for many areas of life. In the event of a "no deal", the EU Commission called on business to prepare for customs controls, among other things. Despite May's change of course, Juncker warned: "I believe that a 'no deal' on April 12th at midnight is now a very likely scenario."

Postponement from the EU side unclear

On the EU side, it is still unclear whether all 27 EU heads of state and government would unanimously approve a postponement. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) was skeptical. "From the current point of view there is absolutely no reason to extend the deadline, because the chaos in Great Britain has not changed," said Kurz in Vienna. "There is no clear path that can win a majority in the British House of Commons."

According to the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag, Norbert Röttgen, the EU should insist on a long extension of the deadline with the participation of the British in the European elections. In the current situation of an institutional blockade, it is pointless to ask for another short Brexit postponement, tweeted the CDU politician. The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had previously made a cautious statement. "Ultimately we have to wait and see what the formation of opinion in London brings with it," said the SPD politician.

Should the talks with Corbyn not bring any result, the head of government wants parliament to vote on alternatives in a binding manner. Great Britain originally wanted to separate from the international community on March 29th. But because of the Brexit dispute in parliament, the deadline could not be kept.

Brits should be able to travel to the EU for up to three months without a visa even after an unregulated exit from the EU, if Great Britain grants EU citizens the same rights. Negotiators from the EU Parliament and the EU countries agreed on this, as announced by the Council of Member States. The rule provides for the possibility of traveling without a visa for up to 90 days, each within a period of 180 days. The EU negotiators had long argued over the visa question. (apa, dpa)