Theresa May says Britain will not leave European Union on time

Leroy Wright
March 21, 2019

European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday to give Prime Minister Theresa May an offer to delay Brexit beyond March 29, on condition that she can finally win over her many opponents in parliament next week.

The 27 are then expected to agree what will amount to a technical extension, meant to give Britain time to pass the necessary exit legislation - if the House of Commons approves the divorce package before March 29.

Speaking ahead of a summit starting in Brussels today, European Council president Donald Tusk warned May that a short extension would be conditional on MPs passing her deal next week.

In response, Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian liberal MEP who leads the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group, tweeted that "the only relevant question now is if PM May can muster a cross-party majority by next week".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said a delay could only be granted if May guaranteed that its goal "is to finalize the ratification of the deal already negotiated".

She wants to put back the March 29 exit date to try one more time to get her agreement passed, but said any postponement beyond the end of June would undermine voters' trust.

She added: "So far Parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice". Prime Minister kept us all waiting to say the same all over again and blame everyone else for her own failure.

"We could consider a short extension conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons", summit chairman Donald Tusk said in a letter inviting all 28 European Union national leaders to Brussels talks.

'You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with.

I have written to Tusk to request short ext of Art 50 to 30th June.

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May said British lawmakers had spent long enough saying what they did not want from Brexit, and that people were exhausted of their infighting, political games and arcane procedural rows.

"The way out of the crisis is for people even now to vote for that deal". "We have reacted with patience and goodwill to numerous turns of events, and I am confident that, also now, we will not lack the same patience and goodwill, at this most critical point in this process", Tusk concluded. Months of running down the clock and a concerted campaign of blackmail, bullying and bribery has failed to convince the House or the country that her deal is anything but a damaging national failure and should be rejected.

A thousand days after a public referendum in which British voters chose to leave the EU, Brexit is stalled because Britain's Parliament is split down the middle between supporters and opponents of Brexit.

The French, for their part, appear exasperated by Britain's dithering.

The bloc may also have qualms about the length of the delay May is seeking.

"But I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30".

Confirming a short extension will be requested, a Number 10 source said: "PM won't be asking for a long extension".

May told Tusk that despite the ruling "it remains my intention to bring the deal back to the House".

Juncker said Britain's Parliament needed to decide whether it would approve the only deal that is on the table.

"There is a case for giving parliament a bit more time to agree a way forward, but the people of this country have been waiting almost three years now".

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