Investing.com - British lawmakers rejected the prospect of leaving the European Union without a deal in place on March 29, paving the way for another vote Thursday that could delay Brexit until at least the end of June.
British finance minister Philip Hammond warned that Brussels might insist on a long delay to Brexit if the U.K. government requests an extension to the process.
"This is not in our control and the European Union is signaling that only if we have a deal is it likely to be willing to grant a short technical extension to get the legislation through," Hammond told Sky News.
"If we don't have a deal, and if we're still discussing among ourselves what is the right way to go forward, then it's quite possible that the EU may insist on a significantly longer period," he said.
Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday lawmakers would need to agree a way forward before an extension could be obtained. All 27 other EU member states must agree to any extension.
She said her preference was for a short delay, meaning the government could try to pass the deal she negotiated with the EU by the middle of next week, even though it was rejected heavily by lawmakers in January and again on Tuesday.
Andrew Bridgen, a eurosceptic lawmaker from May's Conservative Party accused her of pursuing a "scorched earth" policy of destroying all other Brexit options to leave lawmakers with a choice between her deal and a delay of a year or more.
The European Union said there would be no more negotiations with London on the divorce terms, struck with May after two-and-a-half years of tortuous negotiations.
Britons voted by 52%-48% in June 2016 to leave the EU but the decision has not only divided the main parties but also exposed deep rifts in British society.
Supporters say it allows Britain to control immigration and take advantage of global opportunities, striking new trade deals with the United States and others while keeping close links to the EU.
To see more of Investing.com’s weekly comics, visit: http://www.investing.com/analysis/comics
Add a Comment
Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?
By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.
%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List
Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.