How Theresa May decided she was willing to accept a no-deal Brexit

By | March 21, 2019

Financial Times reports:

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Theresa May made a momentous choice. After a day of acrimonious debate in her cabinet and inner circle, the prime minister decided that she was willing to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.

At Thursday’s European Council meeting in Brussels, EU diplomats wondered whether Mrs May was bluffing, but those close to the prime minister said if she cannot secure her Brexit deal she is determined the UK should embark on a no-deal exit.

Since announcing on Wednesday that she would ask EU leaders for a short extension to the bloc’s Article 50 process — to delay Brexit from March 29 to June 30 — people who have spoken to the prime minister said she is reconciled to the implications of what happens if the UK parliament continues to reject her withdrawal agreement. [Continue reading…]

The Guardian reports:

The EU has handed Theresa May two weeks grace to devise an alternative Brexit plan if her deal falls next week after she failed to convince the bloc that she was capable of avoiding a no-deal Brexit.

After a marathon late night session of talks, the EU’s leaders ripped up May’s proposals and a new Brexit timeline was pushed on the prime minister to avoid the cliff-edge deadline of 29 March – next Friday.

Under the deal agreed by May, Britain will now stay a member state until 12 April if the withdrawal agreement is rejected by MPs at the third time of asking.

The government will be able to seek a longer extension during that period if it can both “indicate a way forward” and agrees to hold European elections.

In the unlikely event that May does win the support of the Commons when the Brexit deal goes to MPs again on Tuesday, the UK will stay a member state until 22 May to allow necessary withdrawal legislation to be passed.

“The 12 April is the new 29 March,” an EU official said.

In an address to EU leaders described by one source as “90 minutes of nothing”, the prime minister dramatically failed to persuade the bloc that she had a plan to avoid a no-deal Brexit. [Continue reading…]

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