What Next EU gives UK an extension but impasse remains

LONDON — Following the decision early Thursday by the European Union to delay the U.K.’s departure for a second time, not much is clear about Brexit bar the certainty that the divisions in British society and in Parliament will remain.The so-called “flextension” until Oct. 31 given to Britain to approve a Brexit withdrawal agreement will require the country to hold elections for the European Parliament on May 23 — provided the withdrawal agreement hasn’t been passed by lawmakers.Few think that’s going to be likely after Prime Minister Theresa May saw the deal she agreed with the EU voted down by lawmakers on three occasions this year.The extension at least provides more time for May to break the logjam, though it could easily just prolong the national agony. European Council President Donald Tusk acknowledged as much when he delivered a message to Britain: “Please do not waste this time.”A look at what could happen next:MAY’S MARKETING CAMPAIGNFor two years, May pledged that Britain would leave the EU on March 29, 2019. But this is the second time she has been forced to agree to a delay.The prime minister addressed the House of Commons Thursday afternoon and urged members to use the upcoming Easter break to “reflect on the decisions that will have to be made” in search of compromise.She said that if talks with Labour do not lead to a plan both sides could back, then the government would ask Parliament to vote on a small number of options. She said the government would agree to accept the decisions and that the opposition would have to agree to that as well.May stressed that Britain can still leave the EU without taking part in the European Parliament elections if lawmakers approve her deal by May 22.May has in recent months failed to sway many hard-line Brexiteers in her party partly because of deep opposition to provision in the withdrawal agreement about making sure the border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, remains seamless.It remains to be seen whether her pleas win anyone over. Many of them find the prospect of Britain participating in the European elections unpalatable, given that it will be almost three years since Britain voted to leave the EU.___CROSS-PARTY COMPROMISEHaving failed to win enough support from her own Conservative Party, May last week began negotiations with the opposition Labour Party.Labour favours a softer Brexit than the government’s plan and is seeking a close economic relationship with the bloc through a customs union. That’s anathema to many Conservatives, who say it would prevent Britain from striking its own trade deals with countries like the United States, China and India.Several days of talks have failed to produce a breakthrough. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government hasn’t been willing to compromise on its “red lines.”Still, the negotiations are set to continue.___LET PARLIAMENT DECIDEIf the talks fail, May says she will let Parliament vote on a variety of Brexit alternatives, including the government’s proposed deal, in hope something can command a majority.A so-called “soft Brexit” might get through Parliament and would be welcomed by the EU, allowing Britain an orderly departure before Oct. 31.But it could also blast open rifts within both the Conservative and Labour parties. Pro-Brexit government ministers could resign, increasing pressure on May to quit. The prime minister has already said she will resign if her Brexit deal is approved and Britain leaves the EU, but rivals are circling.Corbyn, meanwhile, would face rebellion from the large number of Labour lawmakers who want a new referendum on Britain’s departure from the EU.___NEW PRIME MINISTERThe pressure on May is increasing, with hard-line Brexit supporters criticizing the prime minister for twice begging the EU to delay Britain’s departure and many mainstream Conservatives suggesting she has failed to build consensus.If May were to resign, the Conservative Party would elect a new leader who would become prime minister. Front-runners include Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.Labour is pushing for a general election that could bring it to power for the first time since 2010.Conservatives hope to avoid such an outcome amid fears the Brexit stalemate will lead to an electoral wipeout that would open the door for what they see as Corbyn’s damaging left-wing policies.___NO DEALAs it stands, the next Brexit cliff-edge is Oct. 31.Most politicians, economists and business groups think leaving the world’s largest trading bloc without an agreement would be damaging for the EU but disastrous for the U.K. It could lead to tariffs on trade between Britain and the EU, customs checks that could cause gridlock at ports and shortages of essential goods.Many pro-Brexit lawmakers dismiss such warnings and say Britain should be prepared to leave without a deal and then wring concessions from the EU. But Parliament has voted repeatedly to rule out “no-deal,” and even passed a law that forces the government to ask for delay rather than crash out.But a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is still the legal default and could happen if lawmakers fail to reach a compromise and the EU refuses to grant another extension. If that happens the only way to stop Britain crashing out would be for the government to choose the “nuclear option” and revoke the decision to leave.___NO BREXITAmong pro-EU Britons, there are rising hopes that Brexit can be stopped.With one Brexit day gone and another following, the government has lost control of the timetable.Support is growing for the idea that any Brexit deal agreed by Parliament should be put to the public in a “confirmatory referendum,” with the other option being to stay in the EU. The proposal is backed by many in Labour and other opposition parties, plus some of May’s Conservatives.The government has ruled out holding another referendum, saying voters made their decision in 2016. But with divisions in both Parliament and the Cabinet, handing the decision back to the people could be seen as the only way forward.___Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/BrexitDanica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press read more

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RoomForManchester Kind strangers open up their homes to those affected by Manchester

first_imgIf anyone in manchester is stranded, needs help getting home, give me a shout!— Jaiden Micheal (@jaidenofficial) 22 May 2017 If you are stranded in the area you can also follow #RoomForManchester where hotels and local people of our great city are offering refuge https://t.co/yaRwKMGwzV— Mayor Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) May 23, 2017 Anyone in Manchester who needs to wait for their parents or needs somewhere stay or to make phone calls, etc, just DM me. We have tea!— Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) 22 May 2017 Facebook also activated its safety check feature, so people could let their friends know they were safe.The Family Guy UK headquarters tweeted to say they had given over 30 people a place to stay.Manchester City Council also started an online condolence book for those affected. If anyone needs shelter we are right on the outskirts of central Manchester in Salford, anything I can do to help DM me!! #ManchesterArena— Karolina Staniecka (@karolinaviolet) 22 May 2017 #Manchester. DM me if you need somewhere to go, to use a landline, to have a tea and sit down. Anything. Northern Quarter-Oldham street— louise benson (@Lbenson88) 22 May 2017 10 minutes from the #ManchesterArena if anyone needs help/lifts/drinks etc REPLY OR DM me #Manchester #MEN— The Salford Fox (@tomharveymedia) 22 May 2017 Taxis in Manchester are offering FREE rides home for anyone stuck in the Manchester Arena area. Let your friends/family know.— azy (@azymanzur) 22 May 2017 The acts of humanity. Taxi drivers taking the injured to hospital & visitors to safety in the city after terrorist attack #ManchesterArena pic.twitter.com/5M5IMqILuB— Elaine Willcox (@ElaineWITV) May 23, 2017 Many of those caught up in the chaos were young fans of US singer Ariana Grande, who had performed at the venue.Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains cancelled.There were reports that a Holiday Inn hotel near Manchester Arena had taken in “50+ children” who were unaccompanied at the gig. #DWTManchester anyone stuck down the east side of manchester dm me. i can’t guarantee a tour guide but ill try my best to help— ellie (@starlordhs) 22 May 2017 Looks like two places open to donate blood in Manchester today if you’re near and can help @GiveBloodNHS https://t.co/kwEfMmuRuk pic.twitter.com/vc5SnK5F5v— Rachel Miller (@AllthingsIC) May 23, 2017 #RoomforManchester if anybody needs somewhere to stay – we have plenty of spare beds & blankets + an unlimited supply of tea. Please DM.— Rosie Connor (@RosieConnor1) 22 May 2017 Local people have opened up their homes and given help to concert-goers affected by a suspected terror attack at Manchester Arena.They have been using the hashtag #RoomForManchester to offer help to distraught people after their night of music ended in tragedy.There are also reports that a hotel near the venue has taken in dozens of children following an explosion that killed 19 people and injured around 50 others.Taxi drivers have also been offering people free taxi rides, and people are already arranging to give blood at donor banks later today to help those injured.The city’s mayor, former Labour MP Andy Burnham, tweeted: “If you are stranded in the area you can… follow #RoomForManchester where hotels and local people of our great city are offering refuge.” Witnesses described hearing a huge bang shortly after 10.30pm at the entrance to the Arena as thousands of people made their way out of a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande.Theresa May, the Prime Minister, suspended her General Election campaign in the wake of the apparent terror attack and there will be an emergency Cobra meeting at 9am this morning. Anyone needing a lift/place to stay from the Manchester Arena, tweet #roomformanchester Retweet and get this trending to help.— Cal (@Panayisalad) 22 May 2017 22 people died in the attack on Monday night, and 50 were injured. The Holiday Inn nearest to Manchester Arena have taken dozens of kids who have been separated from their parents tonight.— Samuel Carvalho (@SamCarvalho) 22 May 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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