Brexit postponed until the end of October

April 11, 2019 at 07:22AM

Brexit is on course to be delayed until the end of October under a plan to avoid a chaotic no-deal split, risking six more months of political uncertainty over Britain’s ties to the European Union. The blueprint hashed out during six hours of talks in Brussels allows the U.K. to stay in the bloc until Oct. 31, with a review of progress to be held in June. British Prime Minister Theresa May accepted the offer and must now sell it to skeptical members of Parliament in London.

May will need to return to London on Thursday and explain the delay she had previously said would be unacceptable to a Parliament and a Conservative Party that are losing patience with her leadership. While the extension avoids the risk of a disorderly no-deal Brexit on Friday, it sets up a political crisis later on this year and could trigger an immediate backlash that risks destabilizing the government.

The danger for May is that she will now have to sell a longer delay to a domestic audience than she wanted. That risks a political backlash from critics inside her Conservative Party who believe postponing the U.K.’s departure is a betrayal of the 2016 referendum vote and could even lead to Brexit being canceled.

October is particularly fraught timing: It’s political convention season in the U.K. and if May is still in power she could see her political rivals lining up to showcase their hard-line negotiating credentials in front of pro-Brexit Conservative members.

Brexit Delayed to End of October as Macron Plays Hardball, Bloomberg, Apr 11

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From: FinPress Review
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