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UK PM may warn lawmakers: back my agreement or face long Brexit delay



LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa Mays lawyers that unless they approved her Brexit divorce agreement after two crushing defeats, Britain's exit from the EU could have a long delay and be involved in elections to the European Parliament.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, UK, March 14, 2019. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

After two and a half years of divorce negotiations with the EU, the final result is still uncertain with opportunities including a long delay, May's deal ends, a disorderly exit without agreement or even another referendum.

Can issue Brexit supporters an ultimatum: ratify her agreement at a European Council summit on March 21 or delay Brexit well beyond June 30, which would allow divorce to be finally countered.

The Prime Minister warned that Britain will be forced to participate in the European parliamentary elections expected to be in late May if there is a longer extension of the Brexit negotiations.

"If the proposal were to go back to square one and negotiate a new deal, it would mean a much longer extension – almost certainly the UK should join the European Parliament elections in May", she said in an article in the Sunday Telegraph.

"The idea that the British people go to the polls to elect members of the European Parliament three years after the vote to leave the EU hardly thinks of. There could be no more strong symbol of Parliament's collective political failure."

The Sunday Times said that May will warn Brexit supporters that unless they support their agreement, they face a "Hotel California Brexit" where one can check out but never leave.

EU leaders will consider pushing Britain to delay Brexit by at least a year to find a way out of the domestic flood, though there is shock and growing impatience on the political chaos in London.

Her agreement, an attempt to maintain close relations with the EU while leaving the formal structures of the block, was defeated by 230 votes in Parliament on 15 January and by 149 votes on 12 March.

But May continues to struggle to build support for its plan, which is expected to propose to lawmakers for the third time next week, possibly Tuesday.

To get it through the parliament, the prime minister must win over dozens of Brexit-supporting rebels in his own conservative party and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which supports his minority government.

"I know I will have to do more to convince others as well as the DUP if I have to succeed in finally securing a majority for the deal," May said.

DUP & # 39; s said Saturday it continues to talk to the government, but the differences remained above the Irish border.

The proposed changes will address the most controversial part of the divorce agreement – an insurance aimed at avoiding control on the sensitive border between the UK province of Northern Ireland and the EU member Ireland.

DUP also requires a seat at post-Brexit trade lectures as its prize to support its deal, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

However, opposition party fiscal chief John McDonnell said on Saturday that he was concerned that the secretary's chancellor Philip Hammond's presence during the Friday negotiations means the government might have offered the DUP money to reverse the deal.

"It will rightly be seen by British voters as a corrupt policy and will break down our political system in the eyes of the world," McDonnell said.

The DUP refused to seek money from the government.

THIRD TIME LUCKY?

After three dramatic days in parliament this week, legislators voted on Thursday to get the government to ask the EU for a delay beyond the date the UK is scheduled to leave – 29 March.

May says she will minimize any delay, but to achieve this she must have MPs detain their deal on the third time in the middle of next week, possibly Tuesday.

She needs 75 lawmakers to change their vote. If she can swing the DUP, one behind her, along with dozens of more Brexit supporters in her own party, she comes close to the numbers she needs.

A Eurosceptic Conservative Lawyer Daniel Kawczynski said on Saturday that he will now return to May's deal because otherwise there is a risk that Brexit cannot happen.

About 20 conservative lawmakers are unlikely to ever be satisfied, but she can draw in a small number of opposition employers.

Slideshow (5 Images)

In another sign of how Brexit continues to transform loyalties into Britain's policy, a high conservative legislature cut off his local party on Saturday due to disputes over Brexit.

Nick Boles, 53, has been critical of the government's threat to leave the EU without an agreement and has faced calls from his local party to be dismissed as a candidate for the next election.

Boles said he could remain aligned with the Conservatives in Parliament if offered "on acceptable terms".

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Clelia Oziel and Guy Faulconbridge

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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