THERESA May has promised MPs a vote to delay Britain’s departure from the EU, if they reject her withdrawal deal.
The decision would come by 14 March so long both the prime minister’s deal is rejected and MPs vote against a no deal Brexit in a separate Commons ballot.
This means a no deal departure could only happen with ‘explicit consent’, the PM has said.
May promised a meaningful vote on her amended withdrawal deal by 12 March, with the no deal vote and Brexit delay vote happening in succession.
In a statement to the Commons this afternoon, May said: “Let me be clear, I do not want to see Article 50 extended.
“Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on 29 March.
“An extension beyond the end of June would mean the UK taking part in the European Parliament elections. What kind of message would that send to the more than 17 million people who voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago now?
“And the House should be clear that a short extension – not beyond the end of June – would almost certainly have to be a one-off.”
May has been pressured by a group of Tory rebels who met on Monday night to discuss how they might stop the Britain leaving the EU without a deal.
As many as 15 MPs are said to be prepared to resign, including industry minister Richard Harrington, digital minister Margot James and energy minister Claire Perry.
The move comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday announced his party’s backing of a second referendum.