Brextension: UK lawmakers vote to seek delay of European Union departure

Lloyd Doyle
March 15, 2019

While the Parliament vote gives Prime Minister Theresa May some breathing space, it was still humbling for a leader who has spent two years telling Britons they were leaving the bloc on that date.

After bottoming at 1.3049 Thursday on mounting tensions around the parliament's vote on PM May's Brexit deal, the GBP/USD pair recovered sharply, topping for the day at 1.3280.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not now time-limited.

Her Conservative government is holding talks with its Northern Irish political allies and pro-Brexit backbench lawmakers to see if they will abandon opposition to the deal.

Her spokesman said ministers had agreed to "redouble their resolve" to secure a deal.

Power to approve or reject the extension lies with the European Union, whose officials have said they will only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit.

Her authority hit an all-time low this week after a series of parliamentary defeats and rebellions. Barnier clarified once again that the deal is not open for renegotiation, adding that his main concern is not an orderly Brexit, but to organize the future relationship, as the United Kingdom will remain "a close partner, a friend, and an ally". Parliament voted it down twice, and May looks set to put it to a third vote next week.

Brextension: UK lawmakers vote to seek delay of European Union departure

Sterling, which swung more wildly this week than at any point since 2017, fell on Thursday from nine-month highs as investors turned cautious about May's chances of getting her Brexit deal approved next week.

In another sting for the beleaguered May, US President Donald Trump said he was "surprised at how badly" the Brexit negotiations have been handled. She didn't listen to that, and that's fine. Withdrawing without a deal could mean major disruptions for businesses and people in the United Kingdom and the 27 remaining countries.

Today Chancellor Philip Hammond hinted that Attorney General Geoffrey Cox could revisit his legal advice on whether Britain would be trapped in the Irish backstop "indefinitely" - unlocking votes for Mrs May's deal.

He believes a short delay would be useless and is allegedly urging European Union leaders to give Britain more time.

"I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the United Kingdom finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it", European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.

Saying that he would not go into detail as to why he did not select the only amendment seeking to rule out a second referendum, Mr Bercow said, "It is not uncommon for a member of this House to be mightily pleased when his or her amendment is selected and notably displeased when it is not".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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