Prime Minister updates MPs following European Summit

25 March 2019

Addressing MPs after last week's European Council and the extension of Article 50, the Prime Minister committed to 'engaging constructively" with a process to allow the Commons to hold indicative votes on Brexit next steps.

On Thursday 21 March 2019, leaders of the EU 27 met at the European Council, and agreed to an extension of Article 50, the expiration of which will take the UK out of the European Union.

The extension was agreed with two strands:

  • If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019, then the period will be extended to 22 May 2019.
  • If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019, then the period will be extended to 12 April 2019

Addressing the House of Commons after securing the extension, Mrs May said that the Government would find time for indicative voting in the Commons, although she expressed reservations about the idea. On the subject of indicative votes, the Prime Minister said;

"I cannot commit the Government to the outcome of any votes held by this House but I do commit to engaging constructively with this process."

The Prime Minister again urged MPs to consider her withdrawal deal, stating that it was the best option to deliver Brexit. She said; 

"I know that the deal I've put forward is a compromise... but if this House can back it, we'll be out of the European Union in less than two months" 

Responding for the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn said;

"Despite the clearly expressed will of this House, we still face the prospect of a disastrous no-deal Brexit".

He chastised the Prime Minister for her statement last week, referring to it as "dangerous and irresponsible". He went on to ask the Prime Minister if she would accept her deal is dead, and commit to not putting it before the House again.

Image: PC - Mark Duffy

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