Brexit Bulletin: Change the Diary

(Bloomberg) -- Today in Brexit: As Parliament votes to delay Britain’s departure from the EU, Theresa May plans a final push to get her deal over the line.

Britain’s long-planned Brexit date of March 29 is likely to be no more.

After another 24 hours of high political drama in Westminster, the vote by U.K. lawmakers to seek an extension to Brexit has kept Theresa May’s deal on life support, just days after her plan looked dead and buried.

In a case of try, try and try again, the prime minister now plans to put her exit agreement to Parliament for a third time before March 20, offering a choice she hopes will finally win round the hardline Brexit-backers in her party: Support my deal and we leave within three months, or else face a long delay that risks no Brexit at all. 

Brexit Bulletin: Change the Diary

Help is also coming from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who has updated his legal advice on the contentious provision for the land border with Ireland, according to the Telegraph. That’s an effort to sway the pro-Brexit European Research Group caucus and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, whose votes are crucial.

But don’t assume all is rosy for May. Her party is still deeply divided — more than half voted against the delay — and she still needs the backing of the other 27 European Union leaders to get an extension. They themselves are split on the idea.

Meanwhile, the British public aren’t impressed by this turn of events. A snap YouGov poll yesterday said 43 percent of respondents were against a delay, 38 percent were in favor and the rest undecided.

Today’s Must-Reads

  • The Irish border is 310 miles breaking Brexit, and Bloomberg’s Bryn Colton, Sam Dodge and Rodney Jefferson have traced its history and importance.
  • Theresa May might just have outmaneuvered all her Brexit critics, writes Bloomberg Opinion columnist Mohamed A. El-Erian.
  • Ultimate success for May could still rely on the opposition Labour Party, the Times’s Philip Collins writes.

Brexit in Brief

Trump Surprise | At a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was surprised at how badly the Brexit negotiations are going, and that May was ignoring advice on negotiation he’d given her.

Brexit Bulletin: Change the Diary

New Leader | Vince Cable, leader of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party, is stepping down in May. His deputy Jo Swinson is a front-runner to replace him.

Customs Standoff | French customs officers again caused delays on Thursday by working to rule, a sign of the potential disruption that could occur in a no-deal Brexit.

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