The week that decides Brexit

British MPs will either vote on May's withdrawal deal, to leave the bloc with no agreement or delay Brexit

Afp March 10, 2019
An anti-Brexit activist waves an EU flag and a Union Jack flag as he demonstrates opposite the Houses of Parliament in central London on January 9, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: British MPs this week finally have to decide how and when they want to leave the European Union, with just days to go before Britain's scheduled departure on March 29.

They will vote again on Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal deal and, if they reject that, will vote to either leave the bloc with no agreement or delay Brexit.

May seeks ‘push’ from EU on Brexit 

Here are the key dates in what could be a momentous week:

May could go to Brussels to finalise any changes she has secured to the Brexit deal relating to the so-called Irish backstop.

The EU has refused to reopen the text but is offering further guarantees about the operation of the backstop, an arrangement to keep open Britain's border with Ireland.

The deadline is Monday night when May must put down a motion in the House of Commons to allow MPs to vote on the deal on Tuesday.

The House of Commons votes again on May's deal, just over two months after rejecting it on January 15 by 432 votes to 202.

May will open the debate, from around 1245 GMT, and votes are expected from 1900 GMT.

If the deal is rejected, MPs will vote on whether Britain should leave the European Union on March 29 without any deal at all.

If MPs reject a "no deal" exit, they will vote on whether to seek from the European Union a "short, limited" delay to Brexit.

Brexit must not be frustrated, UK PM Theresa May says

May has mentioned the possibility of a three-month extension, ending before the new European Parliament meets for the first time in early July.

EU leaders, including May, gather for their final summit in Brussels before Britain's scheduled departure.

Britain leaves the European Union, unless the process is formally delayed - or revoked, an option nobody is discussing.


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