The Labour Party has today called for a delay to Brexit, suggesting Theresa May has run out of time to pass her deal before the 29th March – the legal day of Brexit, which is just seven weeks away.
Speaking to the Commons in Corbyn’s place today, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said that no one could seriously think that Theresa May was going to get the concessions she needs from the EU. She also said:
“Does she not agree that the sensible, cautious thing to do at this late stage is to seek a temporary extension of Article 50 so we have time to see if the negotiations succeed or, if they do not, to pursue a different plan?”
Of course, we have to take anything that comes out of Emily Thornberry’s mouth with a pinch of salt. The Labour MP is, much like the rest of her party, hell bent on stopping Theresa May getting a deal with the European Union.
Opposite Thornberry in the Commons today was de facto Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington. The Cabinet Office Minister known for being exceptionally close to the Prime Minister told Labour that delaying Brexit would “simply defer the need” for Members of Parliament on both sides of the house to “face up to difficult positions.”
But, it looks like Cabinet might be on a similar page with Thornberry after all. It emerged last night that a potential eight-week delay to Brexit has already been discussed by cabinet, meaning MPs would have more time to pass necessary Brexit-related legislation through Parliament before we leave the European Union. That would mean that Brexit wouldn’t happen on March 29th as planned, but on May 24th instead.
The Commons would need some time to pass immigration and trade bills, as well as hundreds of other minor pieces of legislation. We’ve already heard Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt talk about a potential delay of a couple of weeks, but eight weeks seems excessive. It seems to me that the politicians want to kick the can down the road a little further – with little regard for the businesses who still have absolutely no idea what they should be preparing for.