British Parliament agrees to extend deadline for Brexit

World Today

Theresa May

Britain’s Parliament has voted to delay the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union beyond March 29th. Almost three years after the country decided to leave members of Parliament conceded the Brexit deadline is now impossible. CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports.

The vote means it is unlikely the UK will now leave the European Union by the end of the month – but not impossible.

Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly for a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline, but that might prove insufficient.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to bring back her twice-defeated Brexit deal next week. If it fails again, she’ll need even more time – possibly up to 21 months – to reappraise the whole deal, said her Finance Minister.

“Just kicking the can down the road doesn’t help anybody and probably won’t be acceptable to the European Union. We need to focus relentlessly as a House of Commons on how we are going to come together around a way forward,” said Philip Hammond British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The final decision rests with European Union leaders, who’ll give their verdict at a summit in Brussels next week. Speaking in Romania, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said they’d want to hear what Britain wants, not what it doesn’t want.

“In order to go further we do not need a negative vote against the Withdrawal Agreement or against a No Deal, we need a positive and constructive vote,” said Michel Barnier the EU Chief Brexit Negotiator.

The mood music around the British Parliament reflects growing frustration with Britain’s political leaders.

Theresa May’s Brexit Deal returns to Parliament next week for a third time. MP’s reactions will then determine the possible way ahead.