UK Prime Minister Theresa May has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn during Prime Minister’s Questions after she asked the European Union for a three-month Brexit delay.
The request comes exactly 1000 days after the referendum (on the 23rd June 2016), which delivered a 52 percent to 48 percent majority for leaving the European Union.
The two leaders are squaring-off in the House of Commons just hours before Mrs May travels to the latest European Council meeting in Brussels for yet more crunch Brexit talks. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk earlier today, the Prime Minister is believed to have asked for a three-month extension to June 30 in the hope of securing approval from MPs for her withdrawal agreement. A Downing Street source said: “PM won’t be asking for a long extension.
“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 nearly three years now.
“They are fed up with Parliament’s failure to take a decision and the PM shares their frustration.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow was today accused of sabotaging Theresa May’s Brexit deal after telling MPs she cannot force them to vote on it again without changing it ‘substantially’.
The Commons Speaker cited a 400-year-old Commons precedent to inflict an extraordinary blow to Mrs May’s hopes of getting her EU divorce through Parliament.
Mrs May had planned to go to Brussels on Thursday and apply for a ‘long’ Brexit delay unless MPs show they are ready to back her deal by Tuesday night.
Now Mr Bercow used a precedent from April 1604 – used 12 times in the Commons since then – to warn the PM that she must significantly change her deal if she wants to force another vote on it before March 29.
It means that if Mrs May wants to force MPs into another vote after the EU Brussels summit she will have to ask Mr Bercow who would have the final say on if it goes ahead.
Unless Mrs May can make an acceptable change, the Speaker’s intervention means the PM’s deal will be killed off with No Deal or a long-term delay to Brexit the most likely options.
BRITAIN is tonight heading for a delay to Brexit after Remainer MPs took control and voted to rule out EVER leaving the EU with No Deal.
Following a night of political chaos, the House of Commons is almost certain to vote to delay Brexit tomorrow – meaning the UK won’t quit the EU on March 29 as planned.
The PM will then be forced to ask the EU to grant an extension of three months.
The gambit means it’s almost impossible for Britain to quit the EU on time – and makes it more likely we might never leave at all.
Mrs May warned that the Commons will have to choose between a “short technical extension” to give her the chance to get her deal through at the third time of asking – or a long delay which would see Britain taking part in the next European Parliament elections.
In chaotic Commons scenes, Mrs May lost control of the Brexit process again in the face of a massive Remainer rebellion.
The Prime Minister backed a motion which would have ruled out a No Deal Brexit on March 29 but left it open for a later date.
But in a shock move, MPs instead voted for a more hardline amendment from Tory ex-minister Caroline Spelman, stating that the UK should NEVER leave the EU without a deal.
The Commons supported the Spelman amendment by 312 votes to 308.
Mrs May then reversed her policy – asking Tory MPs to vote AGAINST the main motion instead.
But a large number of pro-Remain ministers rebelled and the call to block No Deal was passed by 321 votes to 278.
The rebels included Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd, David Gauke, Greg Clark and David Mundell, who all abstained – while the Disabilities Minister Sarah Newton quit in order to back the motion.
Tonight’s vote is not legally binding – but the PM has already pledged to abide by whatever Parliament wants.
The chaos was another sign the Prime Minister has lost control of the Brexit process and her party – with Tories calling on her to sack the top ministers who failed to support her.
Brexiteer Ben Bradley, who backed Mrs May’s deal, fumed: “We just betrayed the promise we made to the electorate. I’m angry, quite emotional really.
“It’s incredibly difficult to justify… We promised to leave on the 29th, now Parliament has said we’re not going to leave.”
He demanded she sack the rebels, adding: “If she doesn’t then I think we are in total freefall.
“We are not getting the Brexit we want and not getting it on the time we voted for.”
The Commons verdict is a massive blow to Brexiteers who think the UK should quit the EU on time with or without a deal – and it boosts Remainers who want to block Brexit altogether.
The No Deal vote exposed deep splits in the Tory party following fury at the PM’s refusal to try and keep No Deal alive.
Boris Johnson hit out at Mrs May’s decision to offer a free vote on No Deal – telling LBC: “I do think that is absurd, this is a fundamental matter of Government policy.”
But David Cameron backed the PM, saying: “Obviously, what needs to happen next is to rule out No Deal – that would be a disaster for our country – and to seek an extension, and I’m sure that is what is going to happen next.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond openly urged the PM to go for a softer Brexit deal which can win the support of other parties in an extraordinary blow to her authority.
In today’s Brexit debate, senior Leavers warned that removing the option of No Deal puts Britain in a much weaker position.
John Redwood said: “This Parliament must allow us to leave on March 29 otherwise it will be the people against the Parliament.”
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