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Monday, 15 April 2019

Brexit extension date latest – what does the Brexit delay mean and when will the UK leave the EU?

THE Brexit saga took yet another unexpected turn when Theresa May recently announced her plans to knock heads with Jeremy Corbyn and agree a deal.

The embattled PM has also said that the government will continue to plan for the possibility of a No Deal Brexit. Here’s the latest on the extension date…

Britain is leaving the European Union in 2019
PA:Press Association

When was Britain meant to leave the EU?

Britain’s original departure deadline was 11pm on Friday, March 29, 2019.

However, after Theresa May’s divorce proposals were rejected in the House of Commons three times, she was forced to ask for a delay on March 21, which set a new date of April 12.

Following MPs’ continued failure to agree a way forward, May requested a second extension to article 50 in a whistle-stop visit to Brussels.

The new date is now Halloween, October 31, meaning the UK will almost inevitably have to hold European Parliament elections in May.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the latest delay a “diplomatic failure“.

But the date is flexible, so should the Commons agree a way forward like the withdrawal agreement, then it could leave before that deadline.

The PM has said the government will continue to plan for the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit, her spokesman said on April 15.

May made the comment in an internal note to staff, according to Reuters.

Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking in the House of Commons as PM Theresa May updates MPs on Brexit, April 11
UK PARLIAMENT

What does the Brexit delay vote actually mean?

On March 14, MPs voted to delay Brexit. It was won by 412 votes to 202 – after MPs blocked a No Deal Brexit.

It means Britain did not quit the EU on March 29, as had been pledged for the past nearly three years.

Instead, Brexit was set to take place on April 12.

But on April 4, MPs voted to force Mrs May to ask for another delay, which requires an extension to Article 50.

This would give the PM more time to set out a plan that will be voted for in Parliament.

She is currently in talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a desperate bid to find a solution.

The PM previously said she wants a deal to be passed before May 22, so the UK wouldn’t have to take part in the European elections, on May 23.

May told the House to “reflect on the issues” as Parliament broke up for the Easter break.

Tory Brexiteers repeatedly slammed Mrs May for refusing to pursue a no-deal Brexit.

Mark Francois accused the prime minister of “sheer obstinacy”, while Sir Bill Cash called on her to resign.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the further Brexit delay meant businesses faced prolonged uncertainty.

Parliament returns from its current break on April 23.

If no deal with Labour can be reached, the government is proposing to put different options to parliament to find a workable plan. Details of this process are yet to be announced.

What led up to all of this?

Months before the UK was due to extract itself from the EU, Theresa May finally agreed on a departure deal with the EU – only to realise most of Parliament wouldn’t back it.

So at the eleventh hour she pulled a Commons vote asking MPs to agree on the Brexit plan – a move that backfired when it triggered a vote of no confidence in her leadership the very next day – the first in nearly 40 years.

May narrowly survived the vote on December 12, 2018, and the vote was postponed to January 15, which May lost by historic margins, 432 to 202.

This was swiftly followed by a vote of no confidence in her government that was tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which May to won by 19 votes on January 16.

The main dispute over the deal May has agreed with EU leaders so far centres around the perceived permanency over the Irish backstop, which MPs have failed to find a consensus on.

The new Brexit date is now Halloween
Reuters

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