More time needed to amend Brexit deal, says UK Theresa May

Mrs May’s statement dismayed and angered members of parliament and business leaders, prompting a call for a delay on the Brexit deadline to avoid a ‘no deal’ exit on March 29th.

UK prime minister Theresa May Source: Bloomberg

United Kingdom’s (UK) prime minister on Sunday appealed for more time to be given to her to renegotiate the Brexit deal, suggesting that parliament may not be able to vote until around 2.5 weeks before Britain leaves the European Union (EU).

Mrs May’s statement dismayed and angered members of parliament (MPs) and business leaders, prompting a call for a delay on the Brexit deadline to avoid a ‘no deal’ exit on March 29th.

‘As we're continuing with those talks, we won't bring a meaningful vote to parliament this week,’ she said at a summit of European and Arab leaders in Egypt, the AFP reported.

However, Mrs May raised the possibility of a vote on her deal in the coming days.

‘But that (the voting) will happen by March 12. And we still have it within our grasp to leave the EU with a deal on March 29,’ Mrs May said.

The prime minister’s Brexit withdrawal deal was rejected last month, and she has been meeting with European leaders to fix the deal, primarily working on the concerns with the Irish ‘backstop’ plan.

Lawmakers and businesses dismayed

Lawmakers and businesses aren’t pleased with Mrs May’s move to delay voting this week. Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said in a Tweet that the move from Mrs May to ‘further delay the meaningful vote is the height of irresponsibility’.

‘Theresa May is recklessly running down the clock in a desperate attempt to force MPs to choose between her deal and no deal. Parliament cannot standby and allow this to happen,’ Mr Starmer said.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s director general Adam Marshall told AFP the ‘endless political manoeuvres’ are not helping the businesses, communities or people of the UK to prepare for the changes that lay ahead.

Businesses pulling the plug

A ‘no deal’ Brexit is set to cause chaos on Britain, with a major economic disruption to affect both the EU and Britain.

Businesses have been making their own plans to prevent their operations from being disrupted, by shifting their operations out of the UK and shutting down factories.

Automaker Ford Motor told Mrs May in a recent private call that it is preparing alternative production sites to prevent no-deal Brexit tariffs.

Dutch multi-national electronics firm Philips said last month it will be closing a factory in the UK in 2020 due to ‘ongoing geopolitical challenges’ and foreseen ‘obstructions that may affect its manufacturing operations’.

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