May’s withdrawal agreement will come to a vote on March 12.
The United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union next month, but even after two years of negotiations and talks, it may not happen on time.
This is why British Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament if the members reject her Brexit deal on March 12, she will give them an opportunity to vote “on 13 March on leaving with no deal.” If the members reject that, the members can “vote on 14 March for an extension to Article 50.”
May wrote in the The Daily Mail on Wednesday that she believes the UK can leave the EU by the March 29 deadline as she has found headway with EU leaders:
The UK and EU are working towards a joint work-stream to develop alternative arrangements to ensure the absence of a hard border in Northern Ireland, in parallel with our negotiations on the future relationship.
We are doing our own ministerial-led work – supported by civil service resources and with £20 million of government funding – to help develop, test and pilot proposals which can form part of these alternative arrangements.
We are also continuing to hold detailed discussions on the legal changes that are required to guarantee that the Northern Ireland backstop cannot endure indefinitely.
May asked Parliament to “do its duty so that our country can move forward.” She personally does not want to see Article 50 extended and leave the EU with a deal that gives the UK “the best of both worlds: a close relationship with our nearest neighbours and the chance to make the most of our talents and resources by building new relationships with growing economies around the world.”
Here are the remarks and analysis of May’s words to Parliament on Tuesday. From the BBC:
The prime minister said she will put her withdrawal agreement – including any changes she has agreed with the EU – to a meaningful vote by 12 March.
If that fails, MPs will be offered two separate votes:
- One, on the following day, on whether MPs support a no-deal Brexit – so the UK would “only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in the House for that outcome”
- If that fails, then MPs will get a vote by 14 March on requesting an extension to the two-year Article 50 negotiation process to delay EU withdrawal beyond 29 March
“Let me be clear, I do not want to see Article 50 extended,” she told MPs.
“Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on 29 March.”
Any extension should not go beyond the end of June and “would almost certainly have to be a one-off”, she added.
Mrs May said an extension “cannot take no deal off the table”, adding: “The only way to do that is to revoke Article 50, which I shall not do, or agree a deal.”
However, in order to extend Article 50, the UK needs “unanimous backing of the other 27 EU member states and, she said, she had not had conversations about it with them.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire for saying that his party would support a second “referendum if the party can’t get its own Brexit proposals through Parliament on Wednesday.” From The Independent:
Brexiteers on his own benches warned the move could cause “catastrophic” damage to support in Labour heartlands and acted as a “distraction” to finding a way out of the Brexit chaos.
However Brexit-backing MP John Mann said the move would be “catastrophic to Labour in the midlands and the north”.
The Bassetlaw MP told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Voters won’t have it. The last person to renege on their manifesto was Nick Clegg – it didn’t end very well for him on tuition fees.
“Our manifesto was unambiguous, we would accept the result of the referendum. A second referendum doesn’t do that and the voters – in very, very large numbers – will not accept that.”
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