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3 UK Cabinet Ministers to Break With PM02/23 10:12

   LONDON (AP) -- Three senior British Cabinet ministers suggested Saturday 
they may break with Prime Minister Theresa May and back amendments to delay 
Brexit unless a deal is agreed to in the next week.

   Their comments represent a serious Cabinet split ahead of a key week in 
Parliament and are seen as a warning to the hardline Brexit faction in the 
Conservative Party.

   The ministers wrote in a Daily Mail article published Saturday that 
Parliament will move to stop a "disastrous" no-deal Brexit unless there is a 
breakthrough very soon. They warn Brexit backers the project will be delayed 
unless a deal is worked out.

   The three --- Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, Business Secretary 
Greg Clark and Justice Secretary David Gauke --- say they want a deal to be 
reached in the coming days but are worried about opposition from other 
lawmakers.

   "Too many of our parliamentary colleagues appear complacent about the 
consequences of leaving the EU without a deal," the trio said.

   "Our economy will be damaged severely both in the short and long term. Costs 
will increase, businesses that rely on just-in-time supply chains will be 
severely disrupted, and investment will be discouraged."

   May has been steadfast in saying Britain will leave the EU on March 29. The 
three ministers say it would be preferable to seek an extension of the 
withdrawal process rather than to leave without a deal.

   The group says trade with the EU will be hurt and that Britain's trade with 
vital Asian partners will be damaged as well, as will national security because 
of a breach in data-sharing with European partners.

   Business leaders have warned about the perils of a no-deal departure and the 
Cabinet ministers echo that now familiar theme.

   Parliament will consider various Brexit options this week as May continues 
to seek concessions from her EU counterparts. There have been no visible signs 
of progress in recent weeks.


(KA)

 
 
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