British Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday said delaying Brexit by extending negotiations did not rule out the possibility that Britain could leave the European Union without a deal. “If it is the case that there is an extension, this does not actually take no deal off the table. It leaves that as a point at the end of that extension,” May told parliament.
Warning that a longer delay would tantamount to Britain having to hold European Parliament elections at the end of May, the PM said, “I don’t want a long extension.”
“The idea that three years after voting to leave the EU, the people of this country should be asked to elect a new set of MEPs is, I believe, unacceptable,” she said. “As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30,” she said.
While the United Kingdom remains divided over Brexit, most agree that it will shape the economic future of generations to come and, if it goes badly, could undermine the West and threaten London’s position as the dominant global financial capital.
The loss of Britain for the EU is the biggest blow yet to more than 60 years of effort to forge European unity after two world wars, though the 27 other members of the bloc have shown surprising unity during the tortuous negotiations.
Britain’s Brexit crisis has left allies and investors puzzled by a country that for decades seemed a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.
(with inputs from agencies)