Theresa May pushes her Brexit deadline back to August 1 meaning the UK will take part in Euro elections
THERESA MAY pushed her Brexit deadline back to August 1 as Ministers admitted Euro Elections will take place.
Infuriating Eurosceptics, the PM’s official spokesman said it may not be possible to ratify an EU deal until the ‘summer recess’ at the end of July – a fresh delay from June 30.
Theresa May has pushed her Brexit deadline back to August 1 meaning the UK will take part in Euro elections on May 23[/caption]
It means MEPs elected later this month could take their seats in the European Parliament at least for a handful of weeks.
Mrs May had previously vowed to try and pass a Brexit deal by the end of June to avoid this happening.
The original ‘Brexit Day’ was March 29.
David Lidington, the PM’s de-facto deputy, let slip the new date earlier in the afternoon.
Ex-Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith blasted the Government and said it appeared to be “mired in indecision”.
He told The Sun: “We have to bite the bullet and find a new leader.”
Another furious Brexiteer said it appeared the fresh delay was an attempt to keep Theresa May in office until the autumn.
They said that delaying a deal until the end of July – just before MPs break for the summer – could make a leadership contest all-but impossible.
The move came as cross-party talks between Tory Ministers and their Labour counterparts on a compromise Brexit deal failed to reach agreement.
No.10 would only say a meeting chaired by David Lidington, the PM’s de-facto deputy, were “constructive and detailed” and that more talks would take place tomorrow.
Ideally we’d like to be in a situation where MEPs never actually have to take their seat at the European Parliament, certainly to get this done and dusted by the summer recess
David Lidington, Theresa May's de-facto deputy
But earlier in Cabinet, Ministers were warned the No.10 feared a deal with Labour centred on a temporary customs union and closer alignment with the single market would not materialise.
Sources said the Cabinet once more discussed putting alternative Brexit options before the Commons in a series of ‘Indicative Votes’.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay also told colleagues he would be presenting a paper next week on the need to resume No Deal preparations.
Theresa May has repeatedly claimed the Euro Elections on May 23 could be avoided if a Brexit deal is passed in the coming days.
But Mr Lidington told broadcasters that “regrettably” it was inevitable they would be held.
The elections will cost a whopping £156 million due to a £90 million bill to hire ‘returning officers’ at short notice.
Mr Lidington said: “Ideally we’d like to be in a situation where MEPs never actually have to take their seat at the European Parliament, certainly to get this done and dusted by the summer recess.”
The PM’s spokesman said the Prime Minister “deeply regrets” the fact Britain didn’t leave the EU on March 29 as planned.
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But he insisted: “In this country we have a history of where voters are asked to make a choice in a referendum, politicians find a way of honouring that result.”
It last night it emerged Conservative mailshots have wrongly told voters the Euro elections could still be prevented.
They claim the elections can be “cancelled” if a majority of MPs back a deal.
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