Brexit: Theresa May updates MPs on 31 October delay

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The UK government has spent 1.5 billion pounds on plans to mitigate the effects of the UK crashing out of the European Union without an agreement, and thousands of civil servants were assigned to the project.

Leaders of the 27 European Union member countries met for at least six hours before settling towards the end of October.

At the same time, one should note the purely political nature of this decision: Emmanuel Macron sought a shorter extension and managed to pull out a compromise. She urged MPs to take stock and "reflect" over a 10-day Easter break that starts on Friday.

'Let us then resolve to find a way through this impasse, ' said May. "Nothing is more pressing or more vital".

"Nothing is decided", Macron said as he came at the summit, according to" clarity" from May about what Britain needs.

"Perseverance is a virtue but sheer obstinacy is not", said eurosceptic Conservative Member of Parliament Mark Francois.

The Prime Minister said: "The discussions at the council were hard and unsurprisingly many of our European partners share the deep frustration that I know so many of us feel in this House over the current impasse".

She stressed the importance of the cross-party talks that have been taking place between ministers and their Labour counterparts, and said she hoped they could reach agreement in the coming days.

However, if Brexit happens to go to plan this time, the current stage of Brexit debates will be none of the next Commission's business.

Mr Corbyn said: "The second extension in the space of a fortnight represents not only a diplomatic failure but is another milestone in the government's mishandling of the entire Brexit process".

May, who had sought a delay only until June 30, agreed to the later date.

May has in recent months failed to sway many hardline Brexiteers in her party partly because of deep opposition to provision in the withdrawal agreement about making sure the border between European Union member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, remains seamless.

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The other 27 EU leaders met without May over dinner to thrash out what European Council president Donald Tusk called "a flexible extension until 31 October".

His tough position against a long extension, which sounded like "almost a veto" to some leaders, changed the atmosphere in the room.

"While many leaders believed they had been likely to grant a Brexit delay, Macron expressed reservations, warning because he came at the summit that" nothing has been determined".

May had asked for an extension until June 30 to try to build support for her agreement.

Talks over the past week have not made a breakthrough, though they continued on Thursday, and neither side seemed willing to abandon them yet. Labour favors a softer Brexit compared to the government would like to keep a close financial relationship with the bloc, and has suggested.

May's own authority has been gravely compromised by the long Brexit ordeal and she has promised to step down once Britain leaves the bloc - if efforts to get rid of her more quickly do not bear fruit.

The British press compared the latest Brexit machinations to Wednesday's other big news - the publication of the first-ever photograph of a black hole. The Confederation of British Industry said it meant an "imminent economic crisis" had been averted for now.

Britain is now scheduled to depart the European Union on Friday, with or without a bargain.

Theresa May is preparing one final attempt to win backing for her Brexit blueprint to avoid the United Kingdom being forced to vote in next month's elections to the European Parliament.

However, U.K. lawmakers rejected it three times.

Corbyn, meanwhile, would face rebellion from the large number of Labour lawmakers who want a new referendum on Britain's departure from the EU.

"It doesn't want to leave without a deal; at the moment it doesn't want to vote for the deal".

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