Brexit: Patel says there are 'no plans' for deadline extension
The former MP for Vauxhall and current Labour peer offered a stern response to remarks made by Simon Hoare, Conservative MP for North Dorset. Mr Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee, said he would “really like to see the clock temporarily ‘stopped’ on Brexit talks” amid the “worsening Covid situation”.
He said: “There’s no Parliament time to scrutinise and agree a deal and daily clarity of the dangers to our already pressured economy of no deal is alarming.
“Time for maturity.”
Baroness Hoey, tweeting in response, said Mr Hoare looked “slightly desperate”, and dismissed the idea of a delay to the December 31 deadline.
She wrote: “Dear Simon. You have done everything you could to stop Brexit since the referendum.
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“But you failed. Now you are just looking slightly desperate.
“Time to accept that despite being a chair of a Select Committee you are not in Government and a delay will not happen.”
The comments follow accusations from Michel Barnier, directed at Britain, in which he described proposals on future fishing quotas as “unacceptable”.
He has indicated trade talks could continue into 2021, and suggested Boris Johnson has been unreasonable in his stubborn approach to fishing rights.
A senior EU diplomat has said parties are moving closer to a deal but described differences on fishing as “difficult to bridge”.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, is said to be in regular contact with the Prime Minister over the telephone as they seek an eleventh hour deal.
Baroness Hoey, MP for Vauxhall from 1989 to 2019, has been vocal on Brexit matters, and said on Tuesday “we need to control our own waters”.
She has said the UK must be prepared to scrutinise any text presented to Parliament to avoid hidden consequences.
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Baroness Hoey said: “Of course, Brexit supporting lawyers will have to read the small print.
“Surely we have learned that after other agreements we signed up to with the EU proved later to have real problems for the UK.”
Parliament will need to vote on an agreement between the UK and EU to ratify it.
MPs began their Christmas recess on Thursday but may be called to return to Parliament to vote on any deal.
The process usually requires 48 hours notice and Downing Street has indicated the possibility of a recall as early as next week.
With support from the Opposition, a deal could be processed between December 25 and December 31.
A No10 spokesperson said: “In the absence of further substantive business, we will – subject to usual approval by the House – go into recess tomorrow Thursday, but with the knowledge that we will recall MPs and peers to legislate for a deal if one is secured.”
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