Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday she wanted an extension to the process of the UK leaving the EU. However, she also said she did not want the UK to take part in European elections.
May said the extension would be “as short as possible” and would end once a deal was struck.
Speaking in Downing Street, after a seven-hour meeting with her ministers, May said she would take action to break the logjam and work with the opposition to agree a plan which could then be approved by Parliament before being taken to the EU next week.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “very happy” to work with May. He said it was important to avoid a ‘no-deal’ scenario and repeated his call for a customs union.
May said she was seeking a single, unified approach.
She said the government would abide by a decision of Parliament on the path for Brexit.
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “Even if, after today, we don’t know what the end result will be, let us be patient.”
Pro-EU Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed concern: “If MPs allow 12 April to pass with no commitment to fight Euro elections, May 22 becomes the inescapable exit day … and PM would then be able to say it’s my deal or no deal. Parliament needs to be very wary about a potential trap.”
The prime minister did not say if she had the agreement of her ministers for her plan. Environment Minister and possible candidate for May’s job when she resigns, Michael Gove, said ministers did not have a vote, but came to a conclusion.
Suggestions are the plan could lead to a ‘softer Brexit” which would cause resignations from Brexit hardliners.
There was no reference to any further public vote on the issue.
If no plan is presented to the EU by April 12, the default position is for the UK to leave the bloc without a deal.