£1.6bn boost from Stronger Towns Fund

Muriel Colon
March 7, 2019

The ERG has set out three tests that they will judge Mr Cox's efforts to secure changes to the backstop on.

Barnier also suggested European leaders would be amenable to a short "technical" delay in Britain's departure from the bloc scheduled for March 29, to give parliament time to formally ratify a final accord.

The backstop, the most contentious part of the divorce agreement, keeps the U.K.in a customs union with the EU "unless or until" a future trade deal or other arrangements make checks on the border unnecessary.

Brady told the Observer that his intention had always been to "ensure that the backstop could not assume a permanent status, trapping the United Kingdom in the EU customs union".

Parliament rejected May's deal in January, largely because of concerns about the so-called backstop, which is created to prevent the need for physical border checks along the Irish border if negotiators fail to agree on a free-trade deal.

May promised to seek "legally binding changes" to the Withdrawal Agreement, though the European Union has refused to reopen the draft treaty. British Prime Minister Theresa May views a auto production line during a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Solihull, England on September 1, 2016. Tweaks and clarifications, however, are unlikely to satisfy Britain's most ardent pro-Brexit lawmakers. He tweeted that much of the reporting had been inaccurate, and "complex and detailed negotiations can not be conducted in public".

MPs will vote on whether to back Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday.

The government has announced a 1.6 billion-pound ($ 2.1 billion) package of funding over six years to help regenerate run-down communities.

The move is seen as an appeal to lawmakers of the opposition Labour Party, seeking their backing at a vote next week when May will ask parliament to approve a revised exit deal.

The Labour leader's spokesman said he was meeting the group, including Tory ex-ministers Sir Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles, "to discuss how to achieve a deal that could be good for jobs and could bring Leave and Remain voters together". Chris Bryant called the money "corrupt, patronizing, pathetic" and "all to appease the Brexit monster".

The pot is split into £1bn, divided in England using a needs-based formula, and a £600m fund that councils can bid for. But PM May's exit deal with Brussels was rejected by lawmakers in January.

Ms Blackman added: "Scotland must get its fair share and not lose out like we did in the Tories' last £1bn Brexit bung to the DUP, when Scottish secretary David Mundell failed to secure a single penny for Scotland". Rajesh Agrawal, London's deputy mayor for the business czar, told The Associated Press that with just 25 days left to go, "we need to take the pressure off".

"For all the talk it's deeply disappointing that it appears not to have listened to the concerns of trade unions", Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the Unite union, said on Twitter.

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