May Looks To Compromise With Labour Party Over Brexit Deal
Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would ask the European Union for a further delay to Brexit beyond April 12 to give her time to sit down with the opposition Labour Party in a bid to break the impasse over Britain’s departure.
Nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a shock referendum result, British politics is in crisis and it is unclear how, when or if it will ever quit the European club it first joined in 1973.
In a hastily arranged statement from her Downing Street office after spending more then seven hours chairing crisis cabinet meetings on how to plot a way out of the Brexit maze, May said she was seeking another short extension to Brexit.
“We will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal,” May said.
“We need to be clear what such an extension is for - to ensure we leave in a timely and orderly way.”
“I am offering to sit down with the leader of the opposition and to try to agree a plan - that we would both stick to - to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal,” May said.
The pound rallied against the dollar as much as 0.3 percent to above $1.31.
It also strengthened against the euro to 85.43 pence.
The move by May offers the prospect of keeping the United Kingdom much more closely tied to the EU after Brexit, as the Labour Party has called for a continued customs union with the EU and a close relationship with the EU’s single market.
Any plan, May said, would have to include the current Withdrawal Agreement that she agreed with the EU in November and which the bloc says it will not reopen, rejecting the demands of eurosceptic hardliners in her Conservative Party who seek a clean break from the EU.