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As Brexit nears, Theresa May expected to get 'no deal' exit from EU off table

By
Clyde Hughes
British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to calm fears in her own Cabinet about a no deal Brexit as calls to take it off the table grew louder among other politicians. Photo by Stephanie LeCocq/EPA-EFE
British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to calm fears in her own Cabinet about a "no deal" Brexit as calls to take it off the table grew louder among other politicians. Photo by Stephanie LeCocq/EPA-EFE

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to rule out a no-deal departure from the European Union and possibly suggest extending an exit date when she meets Tuesday with her Cabinet.

Both proposals are at May's disposal to try and avoid a full-fledged mutiny amongst top British officials. Ministers Richard Harrington, Claire Perry and Margot James said the government should extend Article 50 to avoid leaving with no agreement on March 29. A media report suggested that as many as 15 ministers would resign to stop a Brexit with no deal with the European Union.

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In a statement to the House of Commons Tuesday, May said that she would bring to the House of Commons a limited extension plan, even though she did not see it helping in improving Britain's chances of striking a deal with the EU.

She also blamed the House of Commons for the crisis and its unwillingness to work with her in coming up with a deal.

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"So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome," May said.

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"... If the House, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short limited extension to Article 50 - and if the House votes for an extension, seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU, and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date commensurate with that extension," she added.

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to muddy the water even more Monday by saying that he would support a second Brexit referendum while calling on May to take a "no deal" Brexit off the table. The Labor Party said that it will forward its own plan to the House of Commons.

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"The prime minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous No Deal," Corbyn said in the statement. "We cannot and will not accept."

"We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a 'No Deal' outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent 'No Deal' and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May's overwhelmingly rejected deal," he continued.

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May delayed a vote on the government's final Brexit deal last week while continuing her negotiations with the EU in Brussels. Last month Parliament voted to send the prime minister back to the EU for further talks after voting down her first negotiated plan.

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