Britain's May seeks more time from MPs for Brexit talks

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a church near High Wycombe

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a church near High Wycombe

The British government sought to win more time Sunday to secure European Union concessions that could pass parliament and avert a chaotic split from the bloc on March 29.

May's housing minister James Brokenshire insisted Sunday that the government had a clear strategy and timeline aimed at getting an agreement that Britain's splintered parliament can pass.

But Downing Street aims to reassure them by promising another vote where they can put forward alternative options, if a new deal has not been struck by 27 February.

The promise is a bid to avert a showdown on Thursday, when Parliament is set to debate and vote on next moves in the Brexit process.

Reaching a deal is "profoundly" in the interest of the U.K., Brokenshire told BBC Television's "Andrew Marr Show", but it is also important to give a sense of clarity and goal, which he believes May's new vote pledge will do.

The former Labour prime minister, a vocal advocate of Britain remaining in the European Union, also said a second referendum could still happen, "when people see what the true Brexit alternatives are".

But he confirmed a meaningful vote on whether to accept or reject a revised deal might not happen until March.

Brokenshire's promise of another vote two weeks later is created to discourage lawmakers from binding the government's hands this week. Opponents of the government accuse May of deliberately wasting time so that Parliament will face a last-minute choice between her deal and no deal.

The opposition Labour party has denounced May's strategy as time wasting aimed at forcing parliament to vote through a deal at the last moment.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Blair said: "No one could responsibly propose this [a no-deal Brexit]".

There are also few signs of concessions coming May's way from Brussels in the coming days.

The British premier is set to meet European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker again before the end of the month.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Sir Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of "pretending to make progress" over issues such as the Irish border.

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