GOVERNMENT officials and EU bureaucrats are thought to be plotting a scheme to derail Brexit by extending article 50, a plan that could persist indefinitely.
Amid fears Parliament will reject next week’s Brexit deal and the growing likelihood of Britain withdrawing on WTO conditions, a cabal of UK officials has recently been “putting out feelers” and “testing the waters” on the prospect of an Article 50 extension. The scheme to kick a final Brexit decision the into the long grass was revealed to The Telegraph by three unidentified EU sources. The insiders said they had been approached by British officials with the plan.
One Tory minister has come clean in admitting the Brexit derail tactic has been privately propositioned to their EU counterparts.
Margot James, Tory digital minister confessed “we might have to extend Article 50” if Theresa May’s “meaningful vote” sinks on the 15th of January, although that vote could still be delayed.
Downing Street has said Ms James was incorrect, but the flames of suspicion have no doubt been fanned and Leave-supporting Tories are now on high alert that the Prime Minister could break her promise to exit on March 29.
When asked about claims of an Article 50 extension, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said: "The PM has always said that we would be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, and we would not extend Article 50."
The delay tactic is also supported by heavyweight Remainer Ken Clarke, who has called for an extension of Article 50 to delay the final Brexit date.
Jacob Rees Moog has suggested an Article 50 extension is a ploy to stop Brexit altogether in disguise.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Ken Clarke is opposed to leaving the European Union, he wants to stop it.”
A no-deal Brexit also faces fresh difficulty with the prospect of a Labour amendment to the Finance Bill that would shackle the Treasury’s tax powers unless a no-deal is voted by Parliament or an extension to article 50 is invoked.
If an extension to article 50 is instated it must be agreed upon by all EU member states, this would give time for a UK General Election or a second referendum as hoped for by Remainers.
Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at the Eurasia Group risk consultancy, believes the EU is open to an extension to article 50.
He said: “The current deal is a good one for the EU and it won’t want to throw it away unnecessarily, so the union’s position towards an extension has evolved, and it is more nuanced than it was a year ago.”
With no leeway coming from Dublin on reassurances of the Irish Backstop being temporary, the likelihood of Mrs May’s deal being successful is becoming more unlikely and calls for an extension period becoming more vocal.
Ms James said: "If that proves to be impossible then I think we have very little time left but we might have to extend article 50.”
Theresa May this week will ply Tory MPs with food and drink at two receptions in the hope of shoring up backing for next Tuesday’s crucial vote.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.