The Latest: UK’s Labour says it will back new Brexit vote
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has thrown its weight behind efforts to hold a new referendum on the country’s European Union membership.
The party has previously said it would support a referendum as a last resort if it could not secure a new election or make changes to Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU divorce deal.
In a change of emphasis, the party says leader Jeremy Corbyn will tell Labour lawmakers on Monday that the party is committed to “putting forward or supporting an amendment in favor of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 but Parliament has so far rejected the deal struck between May’s government and the bloc. Parliament is due to hold a series of votes Wednesday on next steps in the Brexit process.
British Prime Minister Theresa May remains convinced March 29 remains a realistic Brexit date, despite the EU urging Britain to delay its departure from the bloc to avoid a chaotic rupture.
May said after meeting with several EU leaders at a summit in Egypt that “it is within our grasp to leave with a deal on 29th of March and I think that that is where all of our energies should be focused.”
She said that “any delay is a delay. It doesn’t address the issue. It doesn’t resolve the issue.”
Moments earlier, EU Council President Donald Tusk had said a delay would be the “rational solution.”
European Council President Donald Tusk says that the chances of a Brexit deal being sealed are receding and he is urging British Prime Minister Theresa May to request that the negotiations be prolonged.
Tusk said Monday that “it’s clear that there is no majority in the House of Commons to approve a deal.”
He said: “I believe that in the situation that we are in, an extension would be a rational solution.”
He added that May’s 27 European partners would show “maximum understanding.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to delay the country’s departure from the European Union, after she postponed a vote in Parliament on her Brexit deal with the bloc.
May is holding meetings with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday at an EU-Arab League summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, as she seeks elusive changes to the U.K.-EU divorce agreement.
Britain’s Parliament has rejected the deal once, and May has just over a month to get it approved by lawmakers before Britain’s scheduled departure day of March 29. May says a new vote won’t be held this week and could come as late as March 12.
A group of lawmakers will try this week to force the government to delay Brexit.