Parliament OKs law barring Brexit without deal

"We have no leverage at all and many people say that's because of the leadership or lack of leadership of the Prime Minister Theresa May".

European Union leaders, tired by the three-year Brexit crisis, have repeatedly refused to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement May agreed in November, though on Tuesday there was speculation in London that Merkel might be open to doing just that.

He explained that the extension should last exactly up to one year, as beyond this date the European Council would have to "decide unanimously on some key European projects". May is seen by many as a lame duck Prime Minister; options for the United Kingdom (U.K.) are now seen as narrowing to four possibilities.

He suggested that the European Union would grant an extension rather than allowing Britain to leave without a deal on Friday, saying that, given the "risks posed" for those on both sides of the English Channel, "I trust that we will continue to do our utmost to avoid this scenario". Few expect this scenario to play out.

A short extension has been requested by May, but there is no appetite within the EU's 27 member countries for an extension that will have to be extended again, in all likelihood within a few months. "A majority accept the extension will need to be long".

Nevertheless, the process of passing a law to trigger Tuesday's debate has further undermined May's political authority, proving parliament is able and willing to circumvent the government if they disagree with her choices on Brexit. Our objective is an orderly withdrawal.

Parliamentary approval secured, May will now have to request the extension at a key European Union summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

Ahead of Mrs May's meetings with her French and German counterparts, details of the EU's potential demands for another extension to the Article 50 period began to emerge in reports.

No Brexit: Revoking Article 50 would be hugely controversial, but faced with the prospect of a no-deal and its consequences it is not an impossible outcome. That appears to be the nuclear option that would blow the Conservative Party apart. Some hard Brexit proponents want all negotiations to stop now and for the nation to leave on Friday, but that is a minority view in Parliament.

The prime minister met with President Macron in Paris this afternoon, ahead of the EU Council meeting tomorrow.

In an attempt to scrape together any support from her own party holdouts, May also promised to resign early should a withdrawal deal be negotiated.

Meanwhile the cross-party talks seeking to break the Brexit impasse will resume on Thursday, with Labour saying the Government had not yet made a "clear shift" in its position. Discussions with Jeremy Corbyn do not appear to be making any progress with minister Dr Liam Fox warning Mrs May that the customs union with the EU Labour is demanding would be the "worst of both worlds" and EU leaders are growing exhausted of repeated extension requests.

  • Anthony Vega