Cabinet row over Theresa May's delay request to EU

Mr Bercow ruled that the Prime Minister can not bring her EU Withdrawal Agreement back before MPs unless it is substantially different from the package which was decisively defeated last week.

The pound rose by 0.2% in early trading local time, keeping its head above water at the $1.32 level, where the currency trade seems to stabilise in between volatile swings.

Instead of pushing on with her deal, May is now left with carrying out the one thing parliament has backed: asking the European Union to extend the Brexit process.

"The EU's interests will be put before anything else", said the official, who isn't authorized to speak publicly in line with the presidency's customary practices.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU would not grant a delay without a "concrete plan" from the United Kingdom about what they would do with it. "This clearly increases the chance of a no deal Brexit but from a legal perspective, the extension can be granted right up until the deadline".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told journalists that Mrs May had warned MPs ahead of the second vote on her deal that the United Kingdom would be plunged into crisis if they failed to back it, adding: "That has come to pass".

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said the United Kingdom would need to provide a "very persuasive plan" to go with any requests for a delay to Brexit.

The Brexit Secretary has indicated the Government will press on with Theresa May's Brexit deal, despite the Commons Speaker John Bercow moving to block it.

The EU is unlikely to refuse an extension, to avoid being blamed for economic disruptions if Britain crashes out of the bloc with no deal in place to mitigate the impact.

Cabinet row over Theresa May's delay request to EU
Cabinet row over Theresa May's delay request to EU

Mrs May's spokesman, James Slack, said the government would only hold a vote if there is "a realistic prospect of success".

His 11th hour decision will infuriate No 10 who admitted that he had not warned them he was giving a statement - let alone what it was about - before dropping his Brexit bombshell this afternoon.

The bombshell ruling leaves May scrambling to avoid a chaotic no-deal departure in less than a fortnight, but European Union heavyweights Germany and France warned they would not agree to delay Brexit simply to save the PM's skin.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said: "I admit that I wasn't on top of the British parliament's 17th-century procedural rules" - a reference to Bercow citing a precedent set in 1604 for his decision.

He declined to say how long a delay she would request, or for what goal, simply insisting, "you're going to have to wait for that letter to be published".

She said that, if her deal was approved, she would then head to Brussels and request a short "technical extension" of Article 50 in order to ensure time for appropriate legislation.

The politician's comment comes days after British lawmakers in Parliament voted in favor of a delay in the country's departure from the European Union, just weeks before the United Kingdom was due to leave.

Solicitor General for England and Wales Robert Buckland told the BBC that "we're in a major constitutional crisis" and that Bercow's ruling has "given us a lot to think about".

Britain, European and French flags are seen before a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 21, 2016.

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He also said Mexico would pay for it, though the Mexican government has repeatedly refused to finance the project. The US Congress allocated money to reinforce southern border security during each of the past two fiscal years.

  • Sonia Alvarado