BREXIT BOMBSHELL: Terrified EU to be forced into MAJOR CLIMBDOWN after May defeat
THERESA May’s catastrophic Brexit defeat will force terrified EU leaders to radically climbdown from their position over fears Britain will leaving the bloc without a deal, a former Brussels trade boss has warned.
EU bosses see the sheer scale of Prime Minister’s historic House of Commons blow as a reality check and will now be forced to revisit their hardline stance on Brexit, according to a top expert. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, a former EU trade official who now leads the European Centre for International Political Economy, said a rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement was a huge blow for the Brussels club. He said negotiators had worked hard to secure favourable terms over Britain but now they “risk losing because it cannot be ratified”. Mr Lee-Makiyama told the Financial Times: “The ball is definitely in the EU court.”
So much so, Brussels leaders are said be considering a Brexit extension to allow UK negotiators more time to secure a deal before the March 29 deadline to avoid a no-deal exit.
A senior EU official said: “If she Theresa May asks for one she gets one. That is what has changed.”
EU officials also want to ensure they have their ducks in a row before meeting UK negotiators.
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Another source said member states are reluctant to call a special Brexit summit before the “dust has settled” in Westminster to avoid “disagreements” among member states.
They said: “The worst thing for everyone will be a European Council that slides into disagreement and more chaos.”
A long line of EU figures have waded into the Brexit debate after Mrs May’s political career was left hanging in the balance when 432 MPs voted down her Withdrawal Agreement in the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’.
Donald Tusk sparked fury when he warned Brexit could be scrapped because a deal is “impossible” just minutes after Mrs May suffered the biggest defeat in British political history.
The Polish politician wrote: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”.
EU president Jean-Claude Juncker, meanwhile told MPs that “time is almost up” as he showed his frustration with the House of Commons’ opposition to the deal.
After surviving a confidence vote in the Commons on Wednesday, Mrs May said it was time to "deliver on the referendum" held in 2016.
Speaking outside Downing Street late on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said MPs "have a duty to act in the national interest, reach a consensus and get this done".
She added: ”In a historic vote in 2016, the country decided to leave the EU.
“In 2017, 80 percent of people voted for parties that stood on manifestos promising to respect that result.
"Now, over two-and-a-half years later, it's time for us to come together, put the national interest first - and deliver on the referendum."