‘Brexit in peril’ as PM May faces heavy defeat


Peter Nicholls | Reuters

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, February 14, 2019.

Brexit could be reversed if lawmakers reject the government’s exit deal, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday after two major eurosceptic factions in parliament warned that Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a heavy defeat.

Just 19 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May is scrambling – so far unsuccessfully – to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty before parliament votes on Tuesday on whether to approve the deal.

If she fails, lawmakers are expected to force May to seek a delay to Brexit which some say could see the 2016 decision to leave the bloc reversed. Others argue that, without a delay, Britain faces an economic shock if it leaves without a deal.

“We have an opportunity now to leave on March 29 or shortly thereafter and it’s important we grasp that opportunity because there is wind in the sails of people trying to stop Brexit,” Hunt told the BBC. “We are in very perilous waters.”

The United Kingdom’s labyrinthine crisis over EU membership is approaching its finale with an extraordinary array of options including a delay, a last-minute deal, no-deal Brexit, a snap election or even another referendum.

The ultimate outcome remains unclear, though most diplomats and investors say Brexit will define the United Kingdom’s prosperity for generations to come.

The government has previously tried to use the risk of Brexit being reversed as a way to convince eurosceptics to back May’s deal despite their deep reservations about it.

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