May offers MPs chance to delay Brexit

Ian Austin exclusively revealed to the Express & Star why he is leaving Labour

Ian Austin exclusively revealed to the Express & Star why he is leaving Labour

"They are commitments I am making as prime minister and I will stick by them", May vowed on Tuesday.

MPs will vote on the Prime Minister's negotiating strategy for Brexit and a series of amendments on Wednesday evening, ahead of another "meaningful vote" on Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement next month. Another Brexit vote would require the support of numerous lawmakers from the governing Conservative Party, for example.

An anti-Brexit placard outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, February 25, 2019.

The EU has said it will consider an extension to the Brexit process, but only if Britain can offer evidence that such a delay would break the deadlock in parliament.

- Tory MP Matt Warman said he would vote against an extension to Article 50 if Mrs May's deal, which he said he would support, was defeated again next month.

The Daily Mail said as many as 15 ministers were "said to be ready to resign". "A longer extension, while potentially more politically awkward for the United Kingdom government, could see growth recover a touch in the near-term as the imminent "no-deal" threat recedes".

"I am not going to predict what the PM will say later today", Lidington said.

And Stephen Phipson, chief executive of manufacturers' organisation Make UK, said: "A short extension of Article 50 simply moves the cliff-edge back a few weeks and it doesn't offer UK manufacturers confidence that we will not crash out of the European Union a short time later than expected".

He also raised the fear among Brexiteers that the calls for delay have been part of a push to ultimately scupper Brexit.

Mrs May on Tuesday will propose to her Cabinet of senior ministers that she formally rules out a no-deal Brexit, opening the door to a delay of weeks or months to the March 29 exit date, The Sun newspaper reported.

Iran's Foreign Minister announces resignation on Instagram
But the deal was later challenged by the administration of President Donald Trump, which pulled America out of the accord. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, February 13, 2019.

European Council president Donald Tusk revealed this week that he had discussed the legal and procedural process for extending the two-year Article 50 withdrawal negotiations with Mrs May when he met her on Sunday in Egypt. All it does is precisely what the word "delay" says.

Parliament is not expected to back Labour's Brexit plan and it remains unclear whether there is a majority in parliament in favour of holding a second referendum.

The EU also warned that Britain faced the prospect of either a chaotic exit from the bloc or delaying its planned departure date. The uncertainty has already led many British firms to shift some operations overseas, stockpile goods or defer investment decisions.

Mrs May said the Government was publishing a paper assessing its readiness for a no-deal Brexit and the "very serious challenges" it would pose.

It jumped 1.4 percent against the dollar to a five-month high of $1.3284 and was headed for its biggest daily gain versus the euro in almost two years.

But EU leaders insist the legally binding withdrawal agreement, which took a year and a half to negotiate, can't be reopened.

The Remain Labour campaign group, which wants to stop Brexit, said the announcement was "a significant step forward".

If that proposal is voted down, Jeremy Corbyn has said the party would move to formally back another referendum "in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit" or no-deal outcome. It comes within hours of another major U-turn: that of opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deciding to back a second Brexit referendum.

Confirmation that the government is mulling a Brexit delay turbo-charged the pound, which posted one of its biggest gains since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, which heralded a period of intense economic uncertainty.

He argued Labour accepts the result of the 2016 referendum and the party is offering an alternative plan.

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