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Delaying Brexit won’t solve anything, May tells MPs

London, Jan 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday told her MPs that moves to prevent the UK from leaving the EU will not “solve the situation” or rule out a no-deal Brexit in the future.

“The decision remains the same — the deal, no-deal or no Brexit,” she said at Prime Minister’s Questions. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29.

Senior backbenchers have drawn up parliamentary legislation that seeks to extend Article 50 and prevent Britain leaving the EU without an agreement if May’s revised deal gets rejected by MPs, the BBC reported.

“What we have seen is amendments seeking to engineer a situation where Article 50 is extended – that does not solve the issue, there will always be a point of decision. The decision remains the same: no deal, a deal or no Brexit,” said May.

“Extending Article 50, I don’t believe, resolves any issues because at some point members of this House have to decide whether they want to have a no-deal situation, agree a deal or have no Brexit,” she added.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his calls for May to take no-deal off the table. In response, the Prime Minister attacked him for refusing to take part in cross-party talks with her on the way forward.

“The Right Honourable Gentleman has been willing to sit down with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA without preconditions, yet he won’t meet me to talk about Brexit,” she told MPs.

Corbyn replied, saying: “The door to her office may be open but the minds inside are completely closed.”

Earlier in the day, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said delaying or cancelling Brexit would be a “calamitous” breach of trust with the electorate and worse than leaving the EU with no deal.

He said MPs pushing for a delay actually wanted to stop Brexit, and they should think about the “political consequences” of that.

According to former UK Chancellor George Osborne, who campaigned for Remain during the referendum, delaying Britain’s exit from the EU was now the “most likely” option and that prospect of no deal meant “the gun was held to the British economy’s head”.

The UK has to choose between no deal, which he compared to Russian roulette, or no Brexit for now, Osborne was cited as saying by the BBC.

“Russian roulette is a game which you should never play because there’s a one-in-six chance that the bullet goes into your head,” he said at Davos.


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