THERESA MAY has said she would permit a short delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union in exceptional circumstances, after dropping plans to fix the exit date into law.
The decision is a compromise with Conservative members of parliament who last week rebelled in parliament and inflicted an embarrassing defeat on May during a debate on the legislation which will end Britain’s EU membership.
May had been headed for a second defeat later on Wednesday after several members of her party said they would vote against writing the date of Britain’s EU exit, March 29, 2019, into law.
Rebels had signalled they would be prepared to back down if a proviso was added to the bill allowing that date to be changed if necessary.
Speaking ahead of an eight-hour debate on the legislation, May told parliament she would accept the compromise.
“We have accepted the amendment… but I can assure …(members of parliament) that we would only use this power in exceptional circumstances, for the shortest possible time,” May said.
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