May given two weeks to settle Brexit impasse

British PM Theresa May was given on Wednesday a two week reprieve from British lawmakers, after she agreed to a possible delay to Britain's departure from the EU, news wires reported. After months of saying that Britain must leave the EU on time on 29 March, May opened up the possibility of a short limited extension to the exit date.

That was enough to avert a showdown in parliament with lawmakers and even ministers in her own government who had said they were prepared to join a rebellion to avert an exit with no agreement. While lawmakers backed May's new timetable, it now means British citizens and businesses will not learn how, or possibly even whether, they are to leave the EU until the final weeks or even days before the deadline.

After a deal May has negotiated with European leaders was rejected on 15 January, the PM is hoping to bring back a divorce accord for a vote by 12 March. May has now promised that if her deal is voted down, lawmakers will get a chance to vote on whether to leave with no deal, or to ask the EU to delay the deadline.

Meanwhile the opposition Labour Party announced it would now support a new public vote on Brexit, the first time since Britain voted in 2016 to leave the EU that one of its main parties has backed giving voters a chance to change their minds. “After tonight's votes in parliament, we'll continue to push for a close economic relationship based on our credible alternative plan or a general election. We'll also back a public vote in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or disastrous no deal,” Jeremy Corbyn said.

More on this subject: Brexit

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