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Gibraltar Brexit talks continue in London

A demonstrator holds a placard during an anti-Brexit protest opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia are in London for meetings related to the United Kingdom and Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union.

They are accompanied by the Attorney General Michael Llamas.

The Gibraltar delegation arrived at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office directly from the airport for the first of these meetings yesterday afternoon.

The meetings will continue today and include discussions on preparations for a no deal Brexit in the event that the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the UK Parliament.

The meetings come as a new poll revealed that almost three quarters of MPs believe Theresa May has done a poor job of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union.

The annual survey of MPs, conducted by The UK in a Changing Europe think tank, and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London, suggested that the House of Commons has become more polarised in the last 12 months.

More Tory MPs thought she had done a bad job (47%) rather than a good job (34%), according to the research, and 70% thought she had done a poor job of negotiating Brexit.

The survey found that 55% of Conservative MPs thought there were "alternative solutions" to the controversial backstop arrangement to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and that difficulties around the border question have been "exaggerated".

Professor Anand Menon, director The UK in a Changing Europe, said: "The House of Commons is clearly very divided.
"It is hard to see, given the numbers, how the Prime Minister can get her deal through.

"That being said, it is hard to see how any outcome can command a majority."

Professor Tim Bale added: "None of this will make easy reading for the PM: the attitudes of Leave-voting Tories appear to be hardening rather than softening and they seem amazingly unfazed by the difficulties presented by both the Irish border issue and a no-deal Brexit."

In the absence of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, the Minister for Education and the Environment Dr John Cortes will act as Chief Minister until Thursday.

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