Leadership has become a relative term in the UK as both the Conservative and the Labour parties are divided over Brexit having become entrapped in negotiations that leave little room for substantial talks with the EU-27 over Britain’s pending withdrawal from the European Union.
Britain could delay Article 50 implementation if it puts something substantially new on the table, Germany’s European Affairs Minister Michael Roth said on Wednesday.
“For us, it is important that something substantially new would be put on the table to justify a delay. We would then all have to vote on it … No one wants to punish the Britons, if we can achieve something with a delay, we would be the last ones to stand in the way.”
Questions still remain as to what a ‘new element’ would be as the UK struggles to form a consolidated national line.
British Prime Minister Theresa May faces significant pressure as more than 100 Conservative MPs voted against her proposal on February 27 to postpone the UK’s exit from the EU beyond March 29.
The House of Commons will get another vote on delaying Brexit if both the Withdrawal Agreement and “no-deal” are rejected by MPs on March 12. The question now is whether the EU-27 opts to refuse an extension of Article 50.
An alternative Labour party proposal seeking Customs Union membership was also defeated, which prompted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to formally endorse the option of a second referendum.
“We will back a public vote in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or a disastrous no deal outcome,” Corbyn said.