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Rethink Ireland push for 21 MONTH Brexit delay so UK can reconsider EU exit

 

IRELAND is pushing for Britain to delay Brexit by up to 21 months until the end of 2020 so it can have a “fundamental rethink” about its decision to exit the European Union.

 

Theresa May has granted MPs the chance to vote on an extension to Article 50 in the House of Commons this evening following two crushing defeats in as many days. On Tuesday, her Brexitdeal was again rejected in the meaningful vote by a majority of 149, despite her securing crucial “legally binding” changes to the Irish backstop. Just hours before Attorney General Geoffrey Cox admitted the legal risk on the Irish backstop remained unchanged.

Last night, the rejection of a no deal Brexit was passed by 312 votes to 278, setting up another vote this evening on whether Brexit should be delayed beyond the proposed date of March 29.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the European Union may grant Britain a Brexit extension by nearly two years.

This would mean Britain participating in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May, with a presence there possibly prompting a rethink over its exit.

Mr Coveney told RTE radio: “If you have a long extension of Article 50, that opens up the debate in a much broader way to the overall approach that the United Kingdom takes to Brexit.

“That may facilitate a fundamental rethink, it may not, we just don’t know.

“If you have a long extension of, say 21 months to the end of 2020 – whatever the period would be – then Britain has a legal entitlement to have representation in the European Parliament.”

Ahead of this evening’s crunch vote, European Council President Donald Tusk suggested the EU may be prepared to offer a lengthy extension to Brexit negotiations if the UK wants to “rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it”.

Referring to the remaining European leaders who will meet Mrs May at next Thursday’s EU summit, Mr Tusk wrote on Twitter: “I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.” Read more

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Rethink Ireland push for 21 MONTH Brexit delay so UK can reconsider EU exit