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Europe

UK PM offers lawmakers possibility of parliament Brexit vote

media Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street in London, February 26th 2019 REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

British Prime Minister Theresa May has offered lawmakers the chance to vote in two weeks for a potentially messy no-deal Brexit or to delay all together the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Speaking earlier today in parliament, the Prime Minister said any changes to the divorce agreement with the EU would have to be put before parliament ahead of any Brexit deal.

After offering her new option, parliament will once again debate and vote on the government’s next steps tomorrow.

UK reacts

Her new proposal provoked many reactions, with British opposition labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn stating “They say….history repeats itself, first time as tragedy and second time as farce. By the umpteenth time, it can only be described as grotesquely reckless.”

Jeffrey Donaldson, a Member of Parliament for the Democratic Unionist Party, had a different take, adding "We're focused on March 29 and believe there is still time to secure changes that are needed to allow parliament to approve the Withdrawal Agreement. That's the mandate the prime minister's been given and we support her in seeking to have the necessary changes that will reassure parliament on the backstop."

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, however was not impressed, adding the “PM still not acting in the best interests of UK or any part of it.” She went on to sad that this latest proposal is “cynical maneuvering to try to buly MPs into accepting her bad deal”.

EU reacts

Meanwhile, the members of the European parliament supported this new proposal. Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn spoke in Geneva shortly after the proposal stating the EU should back any decision by Britian to hold a second Brexit referendum.

He added if that is indeed the path to be taken, then Britain would need to elect MEPs in the upcoming Euroepan Parliament elections due to be held in May.

Speaking to Reuters, Asselborn noted that a second referendum would likely shift the Brexit timetable back by six months or more, from the current March 29th date.

Belgium’s foreign minister, Didier Reynders echoed this feeling adding “we are not against [a delay]. Of course it will be easier to do that with a roadmap, knowing what we are doing in fact.”

He cautioned, however, against such a second vote as a means to delay the whole process.

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