Theresa May Weighs Plan To Delay Brexit As Labour Endorses Second Referendum

Update: As Theresa May scrambles to avoid driving the UK off the 'no deal' Brexit cliff, rumblings that surfaced over the weekend about her possibly endorsing a "Brexit Day" delay have reportedly morphed into actions. According to Bloomberg, May will call a cabinet meeting for 9:30 am on Tuesday to discuss endorsing a plan to delay Brexit.

After the meeting, May would update Parliament around 12:30 pm GMT about the results of the discussion. If there's sufficient support for a delay, the government would call a vote on Wednesday night.

May's reversal on an idea that she has long resisted is likely a ploy to stop some 20 pro-remain Tories from rebelling and joining with Labour MPs to back an amendment to demand a delay. However, by endorsing a delay, May also risks provoking a destabilizing backlash from members of the eurosceptic ERG.

To be sure, regardless of the vote, the EU27 would still need to sign off on a delay.

The pound rallied 0.5% to climb back above $1.31 as the concessions from May and Corbyn revived hopes that Brexit might be put off...perhaps indefinitely.

GBP

Regardless of the result, if May goes ahead with the meeting, it would represent a major capitulation from May, who has steadfastly insisted for two years now that the UK would leave the EU on time.

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Still reeling form the defections of nine of his MPs, embattled Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said Monday that he would support a second referendum on whether the UK should abandon the European Union, offering a concession to Europhile MPs in his own party has a seeks to quell an outright rebellion.

Corbyn said Labour would table an amendment this week calling for another referendum (though the likelihood of it being brought to a vote remains unclear, being up to the discretion of House Speaker John Bercow).

Corbyn

While the prospect of Parliament authorizing another vote remains unlikely, Corbyn's support could embolden pro-European MPs in both parties to push harder for a delay of "Brexit Day", something that Prime Minister Theresa May is desperately trying to avoid.

And though Corbyn said that he would support the referendum vote to avoid a "damaging Tory Brexit" and accused May of "recklessly running down the clock" to force the adoption of a "botched deal", Corbyn's decision to embrace another referendum vote - something he has long opposed - was widely interpreted as self-serving, as the New York Times reported, because Corbyn had been warned that he might face another round of resignations if he didn't support the referendum.

After the resignations of nine Labour Party members last week, and amid the prospect of more, the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, dropped his longstanding resistance to a second vote on leaving the bloc.

Getting an amendment for a new vote through Parliament any time soon is unlikely, but Mr. Corbyn’s support for one will cheer pro-European Britons, who have been fighting to reverse the outcome of the 2016 referendum decision. Without the support of Labour, there is no chance of a second referendum ever being authorized by lawmakers.

Supporters of a second vote argue that, given the current Brexit deadlock, it would be fair and totally respectful of those who voted "leave" in the 2016 referendum to put the choice to the people again now that they have seen what a fumbling mess the negotiations over a managed withdrawal have become, as RT pointed out. If another referendum should be called, Labour would campaign for "remain."

Meanwhile, Theresa May, who on Sunday promised to call a vote on her "Plan B" Brexit deal by March 12, is reportedly weighing some concessions of her own.

Ultimately, it's unclear whether Corbyn's support of another referendum amounts to anything beyond a political ploy.

If anything, this concession by the notoriously eurosceptic Corbyn proves one thing: That May isn't the only leader struggling to get her arms around a burgeoning mutiny as talks with the EU yield little progress and the days left until Brexit Day dwindle.