Brexit: A crisis that resists hasty solutions

Brexit: A crisis that resists hasty solutions

Brexit: A crisis that resists hasty solutions

Britain was due to leave the European Union on March 29, but has twice had to ask the bloc's other 27 leaders for an extension. Indeed, had that election not been called, it is quite possible that the government would not have struggled with the numbers in getting its deal through, and Brexit could have happened on the scheduled date.

Seventeen other EU Member States, led by Germany, argued for a long extension, until December 31, like Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the Commission, and Donald Tusk, that of the Council.

Is that a shorter extension than was predicted? Yes.

Prime Minister Theresa May has so far failed to get her own Conservative Party behind the Brexit divorce deal she agreed with other European Union leaders a year ago, forcing her to ask the bloc for a delay and to start talks with Labour about how to break the impasse in parliament.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday it was very likely that the idea of a second Brexit referendum would again be put to parliament at some point, although the government remained opposed to any new plebiscite.

After months of late-night votes and bitter infighting, May urged lawmakers to take advantage of a break in parliamentary business until April 23rd - announced earlier in the day to cheers - and reflect upon the country's situation.

"People expected to leave on March 29 and here we are heading towards Halloween.There's some symbolism in that I think", he said Thursday.

He noted: "Just to be clear about this - we spent £4bn so far on preparing for Brexit, but that is not just for a no-deal Brexit - much of that money would need to be spent anyway, putting in place systems to replace European Union systems that we've been using up to now".

It was the depths of winter when British lawmakers first rejected May's deal. And there are still few signs that British lawmakers will approve Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal, further prolonging the political chaos. If Britain is still a member it must take part - and that would likely exacerbate deep divisions, says Alan Wager of the United Kingdom in a Changing Europe Program at Kings College London. But the vast majority of the British people are crying out for a politics of hope, respect and community.

Her task now, as it has been for months, is to get MPs to vote for the withdrawal deal on the table.

Macron defended his resistance to giving Britain nine months or a year more, saying it was for the "common good". Last month, European Union leaders gave Britain until this Friday to approve a withdrawal plan, change course and seek a further delay to Brexit, or crash out of the European Union with no deal to cushion the shock.

Former U.K. Independence Party leader and MEP Nigel Farage speaks during the launch of the Brexit Party's European election campaign, in Coventry, England, Friday, April 12, 2019.

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