UK aims to salvage Brexit deal
LONDON (AP) — The British government was preparing Tuesday to ask the European Union for a delay of at least several months to Brexit after the speaker of the House of Commons ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot keep asking lawmakers to vote on the same divorce deal that they have already rejected twice.
Speaker John Bercow’s ruling was a potentially fatal blow to May’s Brexit deal with the EU. She had hoped to win over opponents and bring it back to Parliament this week, before a summit of the 28-nation bloc in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
If the deal was approved, May had planned to ask the bloc for a short “technical extension” in order for Parliament to pass the necessary legislation for Britain’s departure.
But after Bercow’s bombshell declaration that Parliament can only vote again if the deal is “fundamentally different,” May faces the prospect of requesting a much longer delay.
The prime minister’s Downing St. office says May will send a letter formally requesting an extension to European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Downing St. would not say how long a delay she plans to ask for.
May has warned opponents that a failure to approve her agreement would mean a long, and possibly indefinite, delay to Britain’s departure from the EU.