UK parliament leader: What game is EU playing?
CGTN

The leader of Britain's parliament, Andrea Leadsom, 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.

Read more:

'Just one more push': May urges EU to break Brexit deadlock

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.

The leader of Britain's parliament, Andrea Leadsom (L), speaks at the dispatch box in the House of Commons in London, January 9, 2019. /VCG Photo

The leader of Britain's parliament, Andrea Leadsom (L), speaks at the dispatch box in the House of Commons in London, January 9, 2019. /VCG Photo

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 said. "I do have to ask myself what game are they playing here."

Echoing Leadsom's stance, the chairman of the ruling Conservative Party said Britain cannot accept an EU proposal to break the deadlock in the Brexit talks because it would threaten the unity of the United Kingdom by treating Northern Ireland differently.

The chairman of the ruling Conservative Party Brandon Lewis arrives to attend the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London, December 18, 2018. /VCG Photo 

The chairman of the ruling Conservative Party Brandon Lewis arrives to attend the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London, December 18, 2018. /VCG Photo 

"We are not going to have an agreement that compromises the unity of the United Kingdom," Brandon Lewis told BBC radio. "The proposal that Michel Barnier put out yesterday would compromise the strength of the union."

Lawmakers will vote again on Tuesday on whether to accept the deal struck by Prime Minister Theresa May. The government has so far failed to secure changes to the divorce deal that could gain the backing of lawmakers, after they roundly rejected it in January.

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."

Source(s): Reuters