Sunday 25 June 2017

Theresa May admits Britain could miss 2019 Brexit deadline

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Britain may miss its March 2019 deadline for leaving the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May has suggested.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms May said negotiations could take more than two years. This is the length of time prescribed under the EU's Article 50.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire

The PM has pledged to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, which would have taken Britain out of the EU by March 2019 under treaty provisions.

Asked at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday morning about the nature of negotiations, however, Ms May said the process would take “two years and more”.

“There’s going to be lengthy negotiations – over the course of those two years and more Parliament will have its say in a variety of ways, not least in relation to the Great Repeal Bill,” she said in response to a question by pro-EU Tory MP Ken Clarke.

Under the legislation any country wishing to leave the EU has two years to negotiate this. However, this has never happened before so legal and political opinions are divided.

The Prime Minister's spokesperson said after Prime Minister's Questions had concluded that no discussions had been held with other EU states on extended Brexit talks.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Photo: PA Wire

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