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May Says Agreement is at Hand, Brexit’s Delay will Not Solve the Crisis

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May said a timely exit for Britain from the European Union was “within reach” and insisted on Monday that delaying Brexit would not be a way to solve the problem, EU reporter said Wednesday.
His remarks were made when the opposition Labor Party said it would support calls for a second referendum on Brexit, a potentially important policy change that could further undermine May’s hope to obtain from divided parliament.
May said she wanted the Brexit to go as planned on March 29 and dismissed expectations that she would be forced to delay or avoid leaving the EU in a haphazard way without an agreement.
In the face of the crisis, May is fighting for the kind of changes the EU is making. She said she needed her divorce agreement through a divided parliament and fend off the country’s biggest policy change for more than 40 years.
May, in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for an EU/Arab League summit, met with European leaders to push its efforts to make its agreement more attractive to Parliament, where frustrated lawmakers are preparing to attempt to take control of the Brexit government.
While saying that European leaders had given him the conviction that an agreement could be reached, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said they risked “dozing in Brexit” and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, qualified any delay of “rational decision”.
For the moment, May sticks firmly to the scenario, saying that an extension of the EU’s Article 50 and March 29 negotiation period would not solve the Brexit problem.
“What he does is precisely what the word” delay “says, only delaying the moment when you come to this decision,” she told reporters at the summit. I think that any extension of Article 50 in this sense does not solve the problem, we have (an agreement) within our reach.”
May promised to reduce the vote on the settlement of his divorce to Parliament before March 12.
His chances of winning such a vote were compromised later in the day when the main opposition Labor Party said he would support proposals for a second public vote to end the deal.
“We are determined to present or support an amendment in favor of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit from being forced on the country,” Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told his party on Monday, according to his office.
This decision could attract lawmakers who would have supported the May agreement only to avoid a dead end, but who would prefer a second referendum.
It was unclear whether there was a majority in parliament favoring another public vote, which would require a Brexit deadline to allow it time to organize it. The British voted 52-48% in favor of leaving the EU in a referendum in 2016.
Tobias Ellwood, a defense minister told BBC radio: “If we cannot get this agreement across the board, we are facing the prospect of expansion.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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