EU must increase pressure on Britain over Brexit - EU's Verhofstadt

MPs Are Intent on Reversing Brexit
Brexit: Second referendum, Article 50 delay, amendments and everything else that could happen tonight
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17 March, 2019

Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street ahead of the vote at Parliament to extend Article 50.

Rather than embark upon the clean, No Deal exit which is the legal default on March 29th in the absence of a deal, the Prime Minister is instead pushing for a third vote on her deal and an extension of the ongoing Article 50 negotiations with the European Union and a delay to Brexit - something she had repeatedly promised she would not do.

Professor Iain Begg, of the European Institute and co-director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "EU agreement is likely, but the EU side will want reassurance that the extension is for a objective, not just to permit further procrastination by the UK".

The British government is holding talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which has strongly opposed the Brexit divorce deal.

British parliament will on Thursday vote on an amendment that seeks to decide whether Brexit should be delayed to have another referendum.

Theresa May is planning to hold another "meaningful vote" on her withdrawal deal by Wednesday - after it was overwhelmingly rejected on two previous occasions.

"During this time, the British must tell us what they want: new elections?"

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Speaking to the Press and Journal, he said that if faced with a clear choice of a WTO Brexit of no Brexit at all, then MPs would vote for no Brexit at all and face a backlash.

Mrs May was given the green light for an extension to Article 50 following a Commons vote by MPs, but she will still have to seek this from the bloc.

That is not an ideal outcome - we could and should have been leaving the European Union on March 29. Mrs May is expected to return to the Commons next week for another vote on her twice-defeated Brexit deal.

Tory MP Nick Boles, the one who concocted a plan with Labour MP Yvette Cooper to try and take control of the Brexit plans from the government, has resigned from his local Conservative Constituency Association citing a clash of values and views.

She has warned lawmakers opposing the agreement that if it is rejected, Britain will need a much longer extension that could see Brexit postponed indefinitely.

There were glimmers of hope for May yesterday as some Tory rebels, including Daniel Kawczynski, a member of the European Research Group of hardline Brexiters, revealed they were preparing to back the deal.

A third round of voting witnessed MPs approving a motion calling for a delay to Brexit from March 29 to June 30, as long as May's deal is backed by March 20. But it is nonetheless the case that a critical mass of hard-line Brexiteers in her Conservative Party, and possibly the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) too, could now decide to back her withdrawal deal as the least-bad choice, given their growing fear that the United Kingdom might otherwise never leave.


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