May, ministers agree Brexit deal must be ratified by summer break
The British government agreed on Tuesday it was “imperative” to ratify Britain’s exit from the European Union before the summer break, setting out the clearest deadline so far for the embattled plan and the prime minister’s possible departure, Trend reported citing Reuters.
Prime Minister Theresa May was due to meet Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, later on Tuesday to discuss the impasse in their cross-party Brexit talks, a Labour Party spokesman said.
Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, there is still no agreement among politicians about when, how or even if the divorce will take place.
Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29, but May was unable to get her divorce deal ratified by parliament.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said EU leaders did not want an extension beyond the new deadline of Oct. 31, when the legal default is to leave with or without a deal.
To try to break the deadlock in parliament, May turned to Labour, led by Corbyn, a veteran socialist, but after weeks of talks they have failed to reach agreement. May has been urged by senior members of her own party to abandon the talks.
Senior ministers agreed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, however, to press ahead with the talks, May’s spokesman said.
“Ministers involved in the negotiations set out details of the compromises which the government was prepared to consider in order to consider an agreement which would allow the UK to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.
“However, it was agreed that it is imperative to bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in time for it to receive royal assent by the summer parliamentary recess.”
Parliament usually breaks for the summer in the second half of July, although the exact date has not yet been set.
It must approve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in order to ratify Britain’s exit from the bloc. May has said she will step down once the first phase of Brexit is complete. It would be followed by negotiations on a new trade deal with the EU.