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Report: MPs plan to delay Brexit if May’s deal fails

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Report: MPs plan to delay Brexit if May’s deal fails

Lawmakers discuss putting back date of Britain’s departure from EU by several months, Observer says.

By

12/30/18, 10:59 AM CET

Updated 12/30/18, 11:08 AM CET

Cross-party talks are under way in the U.K. to delay Brexit if the government fails to get its deal through parliament next month, The Observer reported Sunday.

Preparations for a no-deal Brexit have intensified in Britain with civil servants and government officials working through the Christmas holiday to prepare contingency plans and thousands of military personnel will be on standby to cope with any fallout.

Aiming to avoid such a scenario, MPs from both the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour party are talking about putting back the March 29 Brexit date by several months if Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal is defeated in the House of Commons, The Observer said.

“I have had these discussions with ministers. They will not say so in public but of course the option of a delay has to be looked at in detail now,” said one unnamed senior Tory MP quoted by The Observer. “If we are determined to avoid a no deal, and the prime minister’s deal fails, we will have to ask to stop the clock.”

Labour’s Brexit spokesperson Keir Starmer said: “If the deal is rejected, parliament will need to have a very serious debate about how to protect the economy for a no-deal scenario and at this stage nothing should be ruled out.”

EU leaders have said the deal with May cannot be renegotiated.

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