Theresa May renews efforts for Brexit deal change

Facing a growing threat that she will be forced to delay Brexit weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU, British PM Theresa May renewed her efforts to squeeze a deal change, news wires reported. At the EU/Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, she met the EU leaders to try to win support for her efforts to make her deal more attractive to parliament, where frustrated MPs are trying to wrest control of Brexit from the government.

So far May has stuck to her line that she intends to lead Britain out of the EU on 29 March. She has said repeatedly that any delay would simply postpone a decision on how Britain leaves the EU, something she argues parliament needs to address by 12 March, when she has promised to bring back a vote on the divorce settlement. But a UK official said ministers were “considering what to do if parliament does not pass the deal.”

May's decision to push back a vote on her deal into March has prompted lawmakers to step up attempts to stop a no-deal Brexit. Several of their plans would involve extending Article 50, which triggered the two-year Brexit negotiating period, delaying Britain's departure beyond 29 March. The EU has said it will consider an extension to the Brexit process, but only if Britain can offer evidence that such a delay would break the deadlock in parliament.

At the EU/Arab League summit, May met Merkel and Dutch PM Mark Rutte, but at the same time she felt increasing Brussels' frustration with her Brexit handling. “I have a certain Brexit fatigue,” Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday when asked on the issue.

Lawmakers in May's Conservative Party and those in the main opposition Labour Party are stepping up efforts to try to ensure May cannot take Britain out of the EU without a deal at a vote which is due on Wednesday on the government’s next steps. Labour lawmakers have even called on parliament to back her bid to seek to force the government to hand power to parliament if no deal has been approved by 13 March and to offer lawmakers the option of requesting an extension.

More on this subject: Brexit

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