May warns MPs that halt­ing Brexit will be cat­a­strophic

Brexit vote may be de­layed, says re­port

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES GLOBAL - Naomi Can­ton

Lon­don: British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May warned law­mak­ers on Sun­day that fail­ing to de­liver Brexit would be cat­a­strophic for democ­racy, in a plea for sup­port two days be­fore par­lia­ment is ex­pected to re­ject her deal with Brus­sels. With the clock tick­ing down to its March 29 exit from the Euro­pean Union and par­lia­ment dead­locked, Bri­tain faces a hugely un­cer­tain path that could lead to a dis­or­derly exit or even re­main­ing in the bloc.

May said law­mak­ers must not let down the peo­ple who backed Brexit in a June 2016 ref­er­en­dum. “Do­ing so would be a cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy,” she wrote in the Sun­day Ex­press. “So my mes­sage to Par­lia­ment this week­end is sim­ple: it is time to for­get the games and do what is right for our coun­try.”

May has so far re­fused to re­treat from her un­pop­u­lar deal, which en­vis­ages close trad­ing ties with the EU, but with­out any say on pol­icy as Bri­tain has now. The Brexit is­sue rep­re­sents Bri­tain’s big­gest shift in for­eign and trade pol­icy in more than 40 years. May’s deal has come un­der fire from all sides — with op­po­nents of the EU seek­ing a cleaner break and many pro-Euro­peans press­ing for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum. May is ex­pected to suf­fer a big de­feat when par­lia­ment votes on Tues­day.

Brexit min­is­ter Stephen Bar­clay told BBC TV that per- suad­ing enough law­mak­ers to sup­port the deal would be “chal­leng­ing” but that even if it was re­jected, he sus­pected par­lia­ment would ul­ti­mately sup­port some­thing “along the lines of this deal”.

Op­po­si­tion Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn said leav­ing the EU with­out a deal would be cat­a­strophic and his party would do ev­ery­thing it could to pre­vent that out­come. How­ever, Cor­byn’s pri­or­ity is to force a na­tional elec­tion and he said he would pro­pose a vote of con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment “soon” if May loses on Tues­day. Lon­don: British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s with­drawal agree­ment will not get through par­lia­ment and Brexit will be de­layed, ac­cord­ing to a fore­cast by the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit (EIU).

The or­gan­i­sa­tion, part of the Econ­o­mist Group, pre­dicts the UK gov­ern­ment will be forced to re­quest an ex­ten­sion of the Ar­ti­cle 50 win­dow for ne­go­ti­at­ing the UK’s with­drawal and the EU will agree to this.

“Brexit can prob­a­bly only hap­pen in late March now in the un­likely event that par­lia­ment ap­proves May’s deal on Tues­day, or if par­lia­ment sup­ports leav­ing with­out a deal. For all other op­tions, the gov­ern­ment will need to buy more time, and we think the EU will be will­ing to pro­vide it to avoid a cliff-edge sit­u­a­tion,” Danielle Har­alam­bous, UK an­a­lyst at the EIU, said.

Al­though Jeremy Cor­byn says he will ta­ble a no-con­fi­dence vote if May loses Tues­day’s vote, which could trig­ger a gen­eral elec­tion, the EIU says a gen­eral elec­tion is merely a 10% prob­a­bil­ity as it does not think a mo­tion of no­con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment will get passed.

Op­po­si­tion Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn said he would pro­pose a vote of con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment ‘soon’ if PM May loses on Tues­day

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