EU's Verhofstadt: EU must increase pressure on Britain over Brexit

EU's Verhofstadt: EU must increase pressure on Britain over Brexit

We also saw MPs rule out having a second referendum, though this was largely because the People's Vote campaign actually asked MPs not to agree to one right now, thinking that it may be better to do so later on.

The moves in Brussels come before another critical and highly unpredictable week in the Brexit process in which May is expected to launch her third attempt to secure support for her beleaguered deal. Listen to the full conversation here.

All three MPs previously voted in favour of Prime Minister Theresa May's exit deal and against leaving the European Union with no-deal. On Tuesday, she failed to attract any more of the Labour MPs who represent constituencies that voted leave in the 2016 referendum, beyond the three who voted for her deal in January. They wanted a series of different Brexit options (soft Brexit, hard Brexit etc.) to be put before MPs in what's known as "indicative votes".

A senior European Union official is floating the possibility of a two-step delay to Britain's departure from the bloc, now scheduled for March 29.

"Certainly, the prospect of a further referendum would be persuasive for the European Union, but with 27 potential veto players, it can not be taken for granted".

Some have expressed fear that the country's 33.5 billion-euro ($38 billion) tourism industry could suffer if Britain departs from the EU. Senior government sources said it was possible that May would refuse to hold a further meaningful vote on her deal should there be no chance of success. He added that "as long as this isn't clear, Brexit can only be delayed for a few weeks, exclusively to avoid a chaotic withdrawal March 29".

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If it fails to gain support, having already been defeated in the Commons by large margins twice, Mrs May has warned a longer extension may be needed and the United Kingdom may have to take part in European elections. If the Commons has not passed a deal by that time then Mrs May will request a longer extension.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

The possibility of Brexit being delayed or overturned in a second referendum is swinging some Tory Eurosceptics reluctantly behind Theresa May's deal ahead of a third vote on the package.

In the pouring rain in Sunderland, northeast England, which was the first place in Britain to declare a vote to leave the EU, Farage, wearing a flat cap and carrying an umbrella, said Brexit was now in danger of being scuttled by the establishment.

The idea of modifying the Brexit deal or delaying it has not been well received by the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party.

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