Brexit: ‘Tired’ public needs a decision, says Theresa May | All Charts News - breaking news english

# # # # #

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTheresa May: “I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June”

Theresa May has told the public she is “on their side”, laying the blame for the delay to Brexit squarely with MPs.

Speaking from Downing Street, the prime minister said people were “tired of infighting and political games” and it was “high time” politicians made a decision on the next steps.

Earlier, Mrs May wrote to EU Council President Donald Tusk requesting to delay Brexit until 30 June.

Jeremy Corbyn said she was “in complete denial about the scale of the crisis”.

Mrs May was forced to ask for a postponement after MPs twice rejected the withdrawal deal she has negotiated and also voted to reject a no-deal departure.

She said the delay was a “matter of great personal regret”, but insisted she would not be willing to extend Brexit any further than 30 June – despite appeals from some MPs for a longer extension to give time for a change in direction.

The UK is set to leave the EU next Friday, on 29 March, unless the law is changed.

All other 27 EU members would have to agree any extension beyond that date.

Mr Tusk said he believed the EU would agree to a short extension, but only if Mrs May’s deal is signed off by MPs next week at a third time of asking.

‘Time to decide’

In her statement, Mrs May said: “Of this I am absolutely sure. You, the public, have had enough.

“You are tired of the infighting, tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children’s schools, our National Health Service, knife crime.

“You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side.”

The PM said it was “now time for MPs to decide” whether they wanted to leave with her deal, no deal or whether they chose not to leave at all – the latter, she warned, could cause “irreparable damage to public trust” in politicians.

“So far Parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice,” said Mrs May. “All MPs have been willing to say is what they do not want.”

She made a final appeal to MPs to back her deal and told the public: “You just want us to get on with it and that is what I am determined to do.”

British politics at breaking point

By Rob Watson, BBC political correspondent

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May has now framed the crisis over Brexit as a battle between the people and Parliament, blaming MPs for the fact Britain’s departure looks like being delayed.

She said people were tired of the delay and that she was, as she put it, on their side.

Her tone has infuriated MPs from all parties, who blame her for the problems with the Brexit process.

It’s hard to see how her attack will help her win support for her deal in any third vote.

And the big question now is can MPs who don’t want her deal – or no deal – do anything about it between now and next Friday?

British politics feels at breaking point.

Mrs May will travel to Brussels for a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, where she is expected to discuss the extension with other member states.

In her letter to Mr Tusk, the prime minister said she had wanted to hold another Commons vote on her withdrawal agreement this week but had been prevented from doing so by Speaker John Bercow.

On Monday, he ruled that bringing it back a third time in its current form would break longstanding conventions designed to prevent MPs from being repeatedly asked the same question.

Please upgrade your browser

Your guide to Brexit jargon

Use the list below or select a button

Mr Corbyn criticised Mrs May after the speech, saying she was “unable to offer the leadership the country needs”.

The Labour leader added: “To continue to bring back her damaging and twice rejected deal without significant changes, while threatening a no deal outcome ruled out by MPs, is unacceptable and reckless.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPM: ‘Not prepared’ to delay Brexit beyond 30 June

Conservative Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: “As usual another statement saying very little. PM says she regrets having to delay. Then don’t do it!

“It is in the Prime Minister’s power to ensure we leave on the 29th, regardless of what Parliament suggests.”

Liberal Democrat MP and supporter of another referendum, Wera Hobhouse, added: “She is not on my side. We will keep fighting for a Peoples Vote.”

And former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted that the PM’s speech was “appalling and pathetic”, adding: “The Brexit betrayal is hers.”

Opposition meetings

The prime minister met opposition parties to discuss her proposal for a delay on Wednesday evening ahead of her statement, but sources told the BBC that Mr Corbyn walked out and other leaders remained unimpressed with what they heard.

The Labour leader will also travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier. He is expected to hold talks with several EU 27 leaders too.

Meanwhile, an emergency debate took place in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, with Labour pressing for further detail about the PM’s intentions and demanding that any delay is long enough to allow MPs to “break the impasse and find a way forward”.