What's next? Theresa May faces crucial week in Brexit battle

06 April, 2019, 00:31 | Author: Gregory Stephens
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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas echoed Rutte's concerns and said May must clarify her plan before the upcoming EU summit so European leaders could "form an opinion on an extension" and "under what circumstances" any postponement could take place.

In response Sammy Wilson tweeted: "The Chancellor's comments regarding a second referendum seem to indicate the beginning of another U-turn from a Government which promised us that we would leave on the 29th March, no deal was better than a bad deal and that they would never agree to a border in the Irish Sea".

When asked if he was comfortable about a long extension, he said he was not comfortable about it but that the defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's deal meant "we are where we are". If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the Government proposes that the period should be terminated early.

An earlier British request for a delay until June 30 was rejected last month, amid rising irritation from European Union leaders about the political chaos in London.

At the same time, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will stand for the Brexit Party in European elections - if Britain takes part in them.

Such a move would mean that the United Kingdom would need to take part in the elections to the European Parliament, something May has long argued would not be in either side's interest.

He insisted that "of course we are prepared to compromise" on the political declaration.

"If we are not able to understand the reason why the United Kingdom is asking for an extension, we can not give a positive answer", said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Her decision sparked widespread fury among Tory Brexiteers who said it would be "crazy" for people to be asked to elect a fresh batch of MEPs nearly three years after voting to leave the EU.

Speaking during a visit to Paris on Tuesday by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a gloomy-sounding Macron warned: "The EU can not be held hostage on a long-term basis to the resolution of a political crisis in the United Kingdom".

If Britain "were still a member state of the European Union on May 23 2019, it would be under a legal obligation to hold the elections", May wrote.

Tusk, who chairs summits of European Union leaders, wants the bloc to give London as long as possible to find a solution to the deadlock caused by members of Parliament failing to back the divorce deal the prime minister struck in November.

May said in her letter that Britain is reluctantly ready to begin preparations for the European elections if no Brexit deal is reached in the interim.

"We do need change if we're going to compromise", said Keir Starmer, the party's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said, adding that Labour wants the talks to continue.

It's after holding meetings with the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn to see if they can work together and come up with a plan for what to do next.



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