U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has abandoned plans to try to secure parliamentary approval for her rejected EU withdrawal agreement before next week’s local elections, as cross-party talks fail to make headway.
The prime minister wanted to ask MPs to vote on legislation to approve the U.K.’s departure from the EU, however the Brexit bill wasn’t included on next week’s agenda for the House of Commons, the Financial Times reported.
May had been considering putting the legislation to parliament ahead of the local election on Thursday, but has given the lack of progress made in the negotiations with the opposition Labour Party many of May’s advisers fear the bill won’t be approved before May 23.
With no approved deal in the coming weeks, Britain would be forced to take part in the European Parliament election—with polls suggesting heavy losses for the Conservatives.
The next big Brexit deadline for May could now be shifted to June 30, an ally of the prime minister suggested, just before newly elected British MEPs would officially start in European Parliament for the first time.
The prime minister’s spokesperson, referring to the government’s intention to hold a vote on the withdrawal agreement bill, said: “We have said we want to do it as soon as possible.”
However, she also acknowledged that the government would only hold a vote if there was a chance of winning, she added: “We need the House to support it.”
Yet talks with Labour to find common ground have grounded to a halt, with May’s supporters accusing the opposition of deliberately extending talks to force the Conservatives to take part in the European elections.
Labour, on the hand, has repeatedly accused May’s team of refusing to compromise on issues such as the customs union.
Meanwhile, veteran Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage confirmed his Brexit Party will take part in the next general election. According to the Sun, Farage promised to use the coming European Parliament elections as a “springboard” to deliver “massive change” in U.K. politics.
Recent polls have shown the Brexit Party is likely to come top in the European Parliament elections.
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