Humiliated Theresa May formally launches countdown to £100m European Parliament elections as she begs leaders for Brexit delayJanuary 31, 2022
HUMILIATED Theresa May formally launched the countdown to European Elections as she begged EU leaders for a new Brexit delay.
The Cabinet Office tabled legislation for the vote for the European Parliament to take place on May 23.
And Conservative HQ urged candidates to come forward by Friday if they want to stand in the polls – saying “we will be taking part”.
Just last month the PM said taking part in the elections would be “unthinkable” given the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Today she will mount a desperate bid to secure more time to get a Brexit deal through the Commons in face-to-face talks with Angela Merkel in Berlin and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
The UK is due to leave the EU without a deal this Friday, April 12 unless the PM secures a fresh Brexit delay at an EU Council summit in Brussels.
Given the failure to strike a breakthrough agreement with Labour, Downing Street said Mrs May would fly to Berlin and Paris today to explain “her rationale” for a new extension.
Furious French officials at the weekend even raised the prospect President Macron vetoing the request if Theresa May turns up at the EU Council “empty handed”.
Sources claimed Brussels would allow Britain to leave by May 22 if the PM manages to pass her Brexit deal through the Commons by Friday
Experts hinted he may ape General De Gaulle – who famously said “Non” to Britain joining the Common Market in 1963.
Sources claimed Brussels would allow Britain to leave by May 22 if the PM manages to pass her Brexit deal through the Commons by Friday.
This would enable Mrs May to avoid – at the last minute – European Elections taking place. If not Britain may have to remain in the EU until December 2019 or March 2020.
And in a sign of the rising anger in the EU, Dutch PM Mark Rutte yesterday said the UK would have to agree to ‘sincere cooperation’ if it does remain a member over the next year.
It is crucial to know when and on what basis the UK will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement.
Effectively this means the UK abstaining on key decisions regarding future Commission business – such as the future EU budget and electing new Commissioners.
The EU also wants to reserve the right to meet informally without the UK – even though we would remain a full member state.
Following a phone call with the PM, Mr Rutte stormed: “At the EU Council we will discuss further UK request for further extension to Brexit day.
“It is crucial to know when and on what basis the UK will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement. A positive decision also hinges on assurances from the UK on sincere cooperation.”
Mrs May also spoke to Commission President Jean Claude Juncker as she tried to press her case before Wednesday’s showdown.
Lords hand her a lifeline
PEERS gave Theresa May a lifeline — with a change to a rebel plot that aimed to force her into demanding a long Brexit delay.
An amendment by crossbencher Lord Pannick hands power to the PM, not MPs, over extending Article 50.
It gives her final say on how long to delay Brexit for — as long as it is after May 22.
The rebel Bill from Labour MP Yvette Cooper passed the Commons last week by one vote.
Lords and MPs approved its final stages. MPs will debate the extension, which out also rules out Britain opting for No Deal this Friday.
The EU could still force Britain into a No Deal exit if any member state vetoes an extension at Wednesday’s Brussels summit.
Senior Tories privately warned the Conservative Party faced a 'drubbing' if the Elections take place
On Friday, the PM formally asked Brussels for an extension until June 30 – accepting the UK may have to prepare for European Elections, but hoping a Brexit deal would finally be passed by polling day in May.
Sources claim the EU Council on Wednesday will most likely insist on a year delay – but giving the UK a ‘guillotine clause’ enabling it to leave earlier if the PM’s deal, or an alternative Brexit, is passed by the Commons.
Mrs May secured an extension until May 22 at last month’s EU Council – but agreed the UK would have to leave by April 12 if she failed to win a majority for her deal.
At the time she said taking part in the European Elections was unthinkable given the public’s vote to leave in 2016. She wrote: “There could be no more potent symbol of parliament’s collective political failure.”
Last night, senior Tories privately warned the Conservative Party faced a “drubbing” if the Elections take place – with Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party expected to make huge gains.
Tory MEPs last night warned that morale among Tory activist was “worse than during the Poll Tax”.
One said many Conservatives don’t want to stand because they are furious Britain is still stuck in the EU.
One Minister told The Sun that a growing number of Tory MPs in Parliament are “coming round” to the idea that holding a second referendum may be the only way out the deadlock.
They said: “I used to be dead against the idea of a referendum as I believed it would only make matters worse. But given Parliament has proved itself incapable of agreeing on Brexit it may be the only way out of it.
“And I’m not alone in thinking that.
“The Hard Brexiteers could be won over to the idea if you make it a two-stage process – an In-Out vote, then if the result is Out – No Deal or the PM’s deal.”
And in a sign of the anger across Government, Brexit-backing Cabinet Ministers publicly questioned the PM’s hint that she could agree to a permanent customs union with the EU to win Labour votes.
Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt yesterday afternoon said: “I have always believe that a customs union was not the best deal for the UK.
“But we have to remember it’s not the only show in town either.”
Challenged on whether he was “going to go” for a customs union, Trade Secretary Liam Fox snapped: “No.”
most read in brexit
Dembele linked with United move, Cristiano Ronaldo joins United WhatsApp
Mason Greenwood arrested on suspicion of rape & GBH after domestic abuse claim
Danniella Westbrook threatens BBC with legal action after EastEnders recasts her
Wycombe's Akinfenwa furiously confronts MK Dons fans over abusive chant
Sources separately claimed Brexit-backing Cabinet Ministers were given no further indication of No.10’s thinking on either an extension or the prospect of a customs union in Downing Street talks.
Arch Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg last night said: “The extension comes from a failure of Government policy. Theresa May promised many many times we would be leaving on March 29.
“I think voters will look at the Government and think it is incapable of delivering on its promises and wonder what the purpose of the referendum in 2016 was about.”
- GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article