Cross-party bill could force Theresa May to request deadline extension
A group of MPs from both sides of the House has put a bill forward which, if successful, could prevent a Brexit with no deal. Chief among them is Labour MP Yvette Cooper who presented the bill earlier today.
The bill would make it legally mandatory for the prime minister, Theresa May, to ask the EU for another extension of Article 50, which is currently 12 April.
This does not, however, rule out the possibility of the EU denying the extension. Michel Barnier failed to assuage fears when he remarked that a “strong justification” would be necessary for the EU to grant such an extension, further pointing out that it poses “significant risks for the EU.”
The speed with which it must pass in both Houses is also a challenge, albeit one that Speaker John Bercow says there is precedent for.
The MP who presented the bill is Yvette Cooper. She told the BBC that “[the UK is] in a very dangerous situation," adding “[MPs] have a responsibility to make sure we don't end up with a catastrophic no-deal"
“We have been attempting to squeeze into just a couple of days a process that really should have been happening for the last two years – a process of trying to build a consensus around the best way forward.”
In addition to the failure of the second round of indicative votes to deliver a verdict, new reports are suggesting ministerial backing for the speeding up detailed no-deal preparation planning.
Many MPs fear that, subsequent to recent events, a no-deal Brexit is no longer improbable. It’s under these conditions that the bill has been put forward.