EU leaders are set to vote on giving the UK an extension to Article 50 until the 22 May 2019, on the condition that Theresa May is able to get her deal passed by MPs in the UK House of Commons next week.
An extension to Article 50 would see the process of the UK leaving the European Union delayed beyond the original exit date of next Friday. A delay until 22 May would be to allow Parliament to complete the legal process needed for the UK to leave the union – this would be over a month less than what the Prime Minister requested.
The draft conclusions come after an EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday, 1,001 days after the UK voted to leave the EU.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been heavily defeated twice and John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons announced this week that a third vote on the deal could not be held unless it was substantially different. The Prime Minister will need to convince the Speaker that either the deal or its surrounding circumstances have changed, and then will need to attempt to gain enough support once more to pass the deal.
It remains largely unknown what will happen should Mrs May be unable to achieve this. However, if the EU does not approve an extension to Article 50, the UK is set to crash out of the union in a no-deal scenario next Friday at 11pm. The hashtag, #RevokeA50Now has been trending as over 1 million members of the public have signed a petition on the Parliament website to stop Brexit from taking place. The petition states;
The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.
The petition began to go viral after Mrs May delivered a statement to the nation on Wednesday evening, telling the public “You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side.”
“You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side.” pic.twitter.com/znwrtDS9V9
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) March 20, 2019
The PM has faced criticism after she blamed MPs for not making a decision over Brexit. John Bercow defended MPs on Thursday, telling the Commons, “None of you are traitors”.
Meanwhile, and the UK Armed Forces are understood to have activated a team located in a nuclear-proof bunker under the Ministry of Defence, as the Government steps up preparations for a potential No-Deal Brexit at the end of next week.
As it stands, the UK is still set to leave the European Union next Friday under a no-deal scenario, unless the Prime Minister can get her deal passed by MPs next week. Theresa May is expected to hold a press conference from Brussels later on Thursday evening.