Brexit: Theresa May offers MPs a choice between a deal, ′no deal′ or delay | News | DW | 26.02.2019
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Brexit: Theresa May offers MPs a choice between a deal, 'no deal' or delay

The British prime minister has outlined a plan for parliamentary votes on her Brexit deal with the EU, a "no deal" or an extension to the date for leaving the EU. But another key motion is also on the agenda this week.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a series of parliamentary votes on Tuesday that will let lawmakers decide on whether or not to leave the European Union on March 29 as planned — or to postpone the date.

The move comes after weeks of mounting political pressure on May, whose initial withdrawal agreement with the EU was overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament in January.

What will be voted on?

  • The first vote in the House of Commons will take place no later than March 12 when lawmakers will decide whether or not to accept May's divorce agreement with the EU. The deal would include any amendments that she has been able to agree with Brussels since January.
  • Should lawmakers reject the deal again, another vote will take place on March 13. This time, MPs will vote on whether or not to leave the EU without a deal.
  • If MPs reject a "no-deal" Brexit, a third vote will be held on March 14 on asking the EU to temporarily extend Article 50. If EU leaders approve, Brexit will be delayed and both sides will have extra time to negotiate a final deal.
Watch video 00:38

Mays says Brexit could be delayed

Clock ticking

May told lawmakers that she still intends to lead Britain out of the EU at the end of March with a deal.

"Let me be clear, I do not want to see Article 50 extended. Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on March 29," she said, later adding: "An extension cannot take 'no deal' off the table."

The prime minister added that any extension, which she says would not extend beyond the end of June, would be a one-off and that her government was committed to following through on honoring the results of the 2016 referendum that saw 51.9 percent of voters back leaving the EU while 48.1 percent voted to remain.

May's announcement comes after the opposition Labour Party shifted its Brexit policy towards supporting a second referendum.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn accused May of "continuing to run down the clock," saying that the ongoing spat is intensifying uncertainty for business.

Key votes still to come this week

It remains to be seen whether May's move to offer parliamentary votes will win over hardliners within her Conservatives.

The House of Commons is due to vote on several Brexit-related amendments, which could possibly bypass May's proposed votes if they are approved.

Several of the amendments would force the government to set a new Brexit date if May fails to secure her deal by March 13.

The Labour Party will also table an amendment that pushes for the adoption of its Brexit proposals, including creating a permanent customs union with the EU. Corbyn has said that if the Labour measure doesn't pass, his party would then put forward an amendment that would call for a second referendum.

rs/amp (AP, dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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