Theresa May has announced that the UK will seek a further delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union, following continued deadlock in the Government and in Parliament over the way forward.
In a statement, the Prime Minister said: “I have always said we could make a success of no deal in the long term but leaving with a deal is the best solution, so we will need a further extension to Article 50, one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal.”
May also said she intends to sit down with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, to agree a plan to leave the European Union with a deal.
Any deal would have to include the already negotiated withdrawal agreement, she added.
Her speech came after hours of discussions with her Cabinet on the best way forward after a second round of indicative votes was defeated by Parliament last night.
Should her plan for a “single unified approach” with other parties fail to pass, the Prime Minister said that a number of options would be agreed for the future relationship, “which could be put to the House in a series of votes to determine which course to peruse”.
Political commentators have already remarked that the Prime Minister is seemingly trying to take control of the indicative votes process that Parliament voted on yesterday and last week.
Crucially, May said that the Government would abide by whatever decision Parliament voted in favour of for the future relationship with the European Union.
The extension would only be until May 22nd, to ensure the UK does not take part in EU Parliament elections.
Commentators have remarked that this marks a major shift in the Government’s approach to Brexit.
“This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands and it requires national unity to deliver the national interest”, May concluded.
Donald Tusk, European Commission President, has called on others to ‘be patient’.