British Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly according to media reports made a dramatic shift in her Brexit strategy on Tuesday and offered MPs the chance vote for a delay to the March 29 exit deadline if her deal failed to clear the House of Commons next month.
In a statement to Parliament, May announced that her government would table a “meaningful vote” on the final withdrawal agreement reached with the European Union (EU) on March 12.
If that vote fails to be passed by MPs, May said she would table an amendment the following day, March 13, for MPs to vote on whether they are prepared to leave the EU without any deal in place.
In the event that MPs reject such an amendment, which is widely expected, a vote will be held on March 14 for MPs to have their say on an extension to the Article 50 process to delay the Brexit deadline. The government would then bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date by a “short limited” period.
“Let me be clear, I do not want to see Article 50 extended. Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on March 29,” May said in her Commons statement.
“An extension cannot take no deal off the table. The only way to do that is to revoke Article 50, which I shall not do, or agree a deal,” she said, effectively offering the UK Parliament a stark choice between her deal, no deal or a delayed Brexit.