The British prime minister stood defiant against calls to delay the country’s departure from the European Union, saying her “Plan B” on Brexit will include some concessions that will break the deadlock and see her rejected deal approved by Parliament.
Theresa May – speaking in front of the House of Commons on Monday less than a week after its members decisively voted down her EU divorce bill – rejected calls from pro-EU lawmakers to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc or to hold a second referendum on whether to leave.
She said she had made some concessions to opposition demands, including waiving an $84-fee for EU citizens in Britain who want to stay permanently after Brexit, as well as taking into consideration lawmakers’ concerns, particularly those regarding a contentious Irish border measure.
May pledged to hold further conversations about an insurance policy known as the “backstop” that is intended to guarantee there are no customs checks along the border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.’s Northern Ireland after Brexit.
“I will be talking further this week with colleagues … to consider how we might meet our obligation to the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland in a way that can command the greatest possible support in the House,” May said. “And I will then take the conclusions of those discussions back to the EU.”
The backstop is meant as a temporary measure that would last until a permanent solution is found. But pro-Brexit U.K. lawmakers fear Britain could become trapped in it, indefinitely bound by EU trade rules.
The pro-Brexit members of her Conservative party and the pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland have said they will not back the Brexit deal unless the border backstop is removed.
However, the EU has said it will not renegotiate the deal.
The prime minister, who narrowly survived a no-confidence vote after her first Brexit deal was rejected last week, also said that Britain would be scrapping a $84-fee it was due to charge European Union citizens applying to settle permanently in the U.K. after Brexit.
She said she made that decision after hearing the concerns of some of the 2 million EU nationals in Britain.
Lawmakers are due to vote on May’s revised deal – and possible amendments – on Jan. 29, just two months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.
Britain and the EU agreed on the divorce deal in November after several months of tense negotiations. The House of Commons voted 432-202 against the deal last Tuesday – which is said to be the largest defeat in House of Commons history.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed May’s Plan B, saying it was just another attempt by the prime minister to push through her doomed deal.
“This really does feel a bit like ‘Groundhog Day,’’ he said, referring to the 1993 Bill Murray film in which a weatherman is fated to live out the same day over and over again.
May also faces a battle from groups of British lawmakers who are trying to use parliamentary rules and amendments to rule out the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal.
EU leaders, meanwhile, expressed frustration with Britain's indecision.
"We now know what they don't want in London," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. "Now we must at last find out what they want."
Fox News' Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report.