UK Parliament backs May's new plan that could delay Brexit

Unable to get her deal for a smooth withdrawal through a British parliament torn between those wanting looser ties to the European Union and those who want to remain, Prime Minister Theresa May this week conceded that members of parliament could oblige her to ask Brussels to let Britain stay beyond a negotiating deadline of 29 March.

He re-iterated that the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the European Union and the United Kingdom could not be changed.

With just 28 days until Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, May is still seeking changes to her Brexit deal in order to win the backing of parliament.

"If we try to stay and we stay beyond the European elections, there will only be one victor from that, and that would be Tommy Robinson", he said in comments reported by The Telegraph.

The UK team is working on further explaining the controversial "backstop" proposal, which aims to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

Since the 2016 referendum, opponents of Brexit have sought another vote they hope would overturn the result.


"We don't need more time: what we need most of all is a decision", French President Emmanuel Macron said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris. If Britain's exit is delayed but no agreement reached, then Parliament might well find a second public vote is the best way to avert a no-deal exit.

"Parliament decisively rejected it and the Prime Minister is now recklessly running down the clock in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her bad deal or a catastrophic No Deal".

Britain is due to leave the European Union on 29 March but is now on course to do so without a deal after British MPs overwhelmingly rejected the withdrawal agreement in January.

Her U-turn on Tuesday prompted outrage among hardliners in the ruling Conservative party, with influential anti-EU MP Jacob Rees-Mogg warning that "any delay to Brexit is a plot to stop Brexit".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Brexiteer, said he could live with a time-limited backstop, though on January 27, 20 Conservative lawmakers voted against May's new timetable and 88 abstained.

Mr Raab also warned that a delay to Brexit would "weaken" Britain's leverage in the negotiations, and said: "The chances of a deal get that bit slimmer because they are less likely to compromise".


But Brexiteers in her own party mounted a show of strength in votes on Wednesday night, with over 100 Tory MPs breaking a three-line whip to oppose the move.

It calls on the government to make efforts to preserve the rights of those expats set out in the divorce agreement, even in a "no deal" scenario.

Traditionally euroskeptic quarters of the British media such as the Daily Mail have urged MPs to avoid a no-deal exit.

In a twist, Costa was forced to quit as a junior minister because he was not technically allowed to put forward the amendment.

Opposition to the Brexit deal, agreed in November after nearly two years of negotiations between London and Brussels, is focused on the so-called backstop plan to avoid checks on the Irish border.

Today, Parliament decisively voted against a one-page outline of a Brexit plan proposed by the opposition Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.


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