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LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would ask the European Union for a further delay to Brexit beyond April 12 to give her time to sit down with the opposition Labour Party in a bid to break the impasse over Britain’s departure.
British Prime Minister Theresa May holds documents at a news conference after a cabinet meeting following yesterday’s alternative Brexit options vote, outside Downing Street, London, Britain April 2, 2019. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS
BORIS JOHNSON, LEADING HARDLINE CONSERVATIVE BREXITEER
“It is very disappointing that cabinet has decided to entrust the final handling of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
“It now seems all too likely that British trade policy and key law-making powers will be handed over to Brussels with no say for the UK.”
“We now face the ridiculous possibility of being forced to contest the European elections more than three years after leaving the EU and having to agree exit terms that in no way resemble what the people were promised when they voted to leave.”
JACOB REES-MOGG, LEADING BREXITEER AND CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER
“This is a deeply unsatisfactory approach. It is not in the interests of the country, it fails to deliver on the referendum result and history doesn’t bode well for it.”
“You do find that leaders who decide to go with the opposition rather than their own party do find that their party do not tamely follow.”
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL:
“Even if, after today, we don’t know what the end result will be, let us be patient. #Brexit”
ALISTAIR BURT, FORMER CONSERVATIVE MINISTER
“Surely crucial points are clear statement on no deal, and acceptance of Parliamentary decision, rather than continued resistance should such decision cross previous red lines. A decision in national interest, at cost to her, which I hope colleagues accept.”
ANDREW BRIDGEN, LEADING BREXITEER AND MEMBER OF MAY’S CONSERVATIVES, TELLS REUTERS:
“In effectively placing the future of Brexit in Jeremy Corbyn’s hands the prime minister will have further undermined herself in the eyes of Conservative MPs (lawmakers) and our activists and supporters.”
DAVID JONES, EUROSCEPTIC FORMER CONSERVATIVE MINISTER TOLD REUTERS:
“It seems to me that she wants to rely upon Labour votes to get this extension through. If she does that, then she is putting the future of the party in peril.”
INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS:
“The Prime Minister’s statement was a welcome step towards compromise, but there are still many obstacles on the path ahead. There was a clear indication of how the Government sees the next steps unfolding but time is of the essence and the outcome of all this is still far from clear.
“We urge the Leader of the Opposition to work with the Prime Minister to find a solution. Both sides must play ball.”
FOOD AND DRINK FEDERATION:
“A further extension to article 50 must be sufficient to allow for a new plan to emerge. Unless the Prime Minister can secure the speedy support of the leader of the opposition, another short extension would only prolong the misery for businesses and the country.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, William James, Kylie MacLellan, Guy Faulconbridge, Stephen Addison, Andrew MacAskill, Costas Pitas; compiled by Kate Holton