Britain is headed for a showdown simply days earlier than it is because of crash out of the EU after Jean-Claude Juncker signalled European leaders could be unable to grant an extension to subsequent week’s Brexit at a Brussels summit to start on Thursday.
The feedback by the European Fee president, made to German radio on Wednesday, come as EU leaders have hardened their place on Brexit, warning they’d be unwilling to grant a long-term delay with out a “new political course of” in London.
The hardline stance in Brussels was joined by comparable brinkmanship amongst Conservative Eurosceptics in Theresa Might’s cupboard, who’ve warned the British prime minister they’d resign if she requested a Brexit delay past June 30.
Downing Avenue stated Mrs Might will formally search a “quick delay” on Wednesday, which is able to shift the Brexit cliff-edge again by as much as three months. Mrs Might will search the extension to the Article 50 divorce course of in a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk forward of the Brussels summit.
Theresa Might has neither in her cupboard nor in parliament settlement on something
In his remarks to German radio, Mr Juncker steered the EU would wait to see whether or not Mrs Might might safe backing for her exit deal at a 3rd try subsequent week earlier than signing off an extension to Article 50 — a sign Mrs Might might convey her deal again to a vote in parliament simply days earlier than the scheduled March 29 exit.
“Theresa Might has neither in her cupboard nor in parliament settlement on something,” he stated. “So long as we don’t know what Britain might say sure to, we will’t decide.
“So my evaluation is that we gained’t be capable of attain a call this week and must meet once more subsequent week.” With Brexit day at the moment set for March 29, that means that a week of deep uncertainty for British enterprise lies forward.
Mrs Might, whose place is already extraordinarily weak, could have been dealt a deadly blow to her premiership if she had been compelled to concede that a longer delay could be wanted to develop a totally new Brexit plan.
Nonetheless, her determination to hunt solely a brief delay removes the strain from Eurosceptic Tory MPs to again her plan, since they may now merely run down the clock within the perception that Britain will depart with out a deal on the finish of June.
At a cupboard assembly on Tuesday, pro-European ministers argued that until Tory MPs and the Democratic Unionist Get together have been confronted with the prospect of an extended delay to Brexit, they’d proceed to sit down on their arms.
Mrs Might herself had raised the specter of an extended extension to Article 50 as a method of accelerating strain on her critics forward of a deliberate third “significant vote” on her deal subsequent week.
Her determination to aspect with the Eurosceptics in her cupboard might imply that her Brexit agony extends into the summer season, until there’s a dramatic change of coronary heart amongst Eurosceptic Tories within the coming days.
Then as the subsequent cliff-edge approaches, Mrs Might must confront a query of whether or not she is ready to countenance a no-deal exit at that time. Her determination to hunt a brief delay buys her solely restricted time.
Quantity 10 stated: “There’s a case for giving parliament a bit extra time to agree a means ahead, however the folks of this nation have been ready almost three years now.
“They’re fed up with parliament’s failure to take a call and the PM shares their frustration.”
Nonetheless, one pro-EU minister instructed the Monetary Instances: “It will solely work if sufficient folks swap to vote for the withdrawal settlement. If not, then we’re simply creating a brand new no-deal deadline and there’s clearly no Commons majority for that.”
If the EU agrees to a delay to Brexit, Mrs Might will convey ahead a easy piece of laws — a statutory instrument — to alter Britain’s exit date in legislation.
Mrs Might warned MPs final Sunday that in the event that they rejected her deal and negotiations with the EU went again to sq. one, “that will imply a for much longer extension”.
She stated that will additionally contain Britain’s involvement in elections to the European Parliament — MEPs reconvene in Strasbourg after the polls in early July — including that such a state of affairs “hardly bears interested by”.
Further reporting by Laura Hughes in London