Sling them out or long delay: Europeans weigh Brexit options


Speaking of the possible Brexit delay, French official said Friday that Britain would only be granted an extension to the article 50 Brexit negotiation period if its parliament passed the current deal on the table or if a clear, alternative plan emerged by next week's European Union summit.

Noting Thursday's votes in the British parliament to seek a delay in leaving the bloc, a spokesman for the European Commission said: "A request for an extension of Article 50 requires the unanimous agreement of all 27 member states".

Power to approve or reject the extension lies with the European Union, whose officials have said they will only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit. That left Britain facing a disruptive "no-deal" exit from the bloc on March 29, when a two-year countdown to the country's departure runs out.

Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly failed to approve an amendment calling for a second Brexit referendum.

And the narrow 314 to 312 victory came before MPs backed a motion to delay Brexit beyond March 29.

The Prime Minister set out a clear objective for legally binding change which would command a majority in the House of Commons in line with the Brady amendment.

The motion was tabled by Sarah Wollaston of the Independent Group, a new informal grouping of centrist, remainer MPs.

Labour revealed that leader Jeremy Corbyn and senior aides have met with backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, who are promoting a plan to accept Mrs May's deal on the condition that it is subject to a second referendum. "However, the matter of law affecting withdrawal can only inform what is essentially a political decision that each of us must make". Parliament chose to reject that deal and we now have to confront the hard position that decisions taken by Parliament have left us in.

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Third, MPs will vote on Labour's plan to delay Brexit and find consensus around a customs union-type plan.

It's been a turbulent few weeks in the Palace of Westminster and while Britons may all be bored silly by the sight of MPs arguing about what they think the people actually want, the drama shows no sign of stopping.

Even the official campaign group for a People's Vote did not support the move. That was rightly the focus of today's debate and votes and the government had been forced into extension after a succession of defeats. And it's been a very long week for the embattled prime minister.

But Mrs May's hopes of persuading Eurosceptics and the DUP to back the deal were dealt a blow after the "Star Chamber" of Brexiteer lawyers rejected Mr Cox's latest assessment.

The prospect of a long extension period would be the stuff of nightmares for hardline eurosceptics, anxious that Brexit may never happen and could strengthen PM May's hand as she pushes to get her deal over the line. We would need at least a year.

"It is this deal, or Brexit might not happen at all", Juncker said. But these are no ordinary times and it will be up to the speaker of the house to decide whether or not to allow such a vote to go ahead.

Another giant in auto manufacturing, German company BMW, also reacted to the most recent House of Commons vote, saying it is continuing to prepare for a "worst-case scenario" no-deal Brexit.