News | Published March 08 2019

May tells EU "we may never leave" if deal fails

A second Brexit referendum has been conceded as a real possibility by Prime Minister Theresa May today, as she urged EU leaders to allow her "one more push". If they fail to grant her this, she added, "[Britain] may never leave [the EU] at all."

Speaking in Grimsby today, Theresa May warned EU leaders of a "moment of crisis," according to reports from the BBC, as pressure mounts in the final days leading up to the Article 50 deadline, 29 March.

In trying to reach a solution to the Irish backstop deadlock, "serious" suggestions have been put before EU officials by UK government representatives – a pivotal and "difficult" point of contention in the negotiation process.

Laconically and forcefully, she pleaded: "Let's get it done."

In any case, another major barrier remains in front of her: in a couple of weeks' time, she will have to put her deal before parliament. If it doesn't get voted through, parliament can vote on whether to leave with no deal or to extend Article 50.

In what appears to be a sign of anxiety, May was recorded as saying:

"Reject it and no-one knows what will happen. We may not leave the EU for many months. We may leave without the protections a deal provides, we may never leave at all."

Corbyn responded to these remarks by saying she was "desperate". He added that the poor progress in renegotiation has left his stance unaltered: "We will not be supporting her deal next Tuesday. We will be voting to take 'no deal' off the table ..."

To this, he added that the official Labour position is and remains a customs union Brexit.

At present, the BBC reports there being "few visible signs of progress" in terms of changes to the backstop arrangement, a view Geoffrey Cox also expressed earlier this week.

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Authored by

Thomas Wilson
Political Editor
March 08 2019

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