THERESA May has been forced to accept that Britain may not leave the European Union on March 29.
The Prime Minister still insists that she doesn’t want a delay, but if one is needed it will be “as short as possible”.
PA:Press Association Theresa May updated MPs in the House of Commons, London
What will happen if Britain extends Article 50?
Extending Article 50 would give Parliament more time to finalise a deal.
As it stands, Britain is still set to leave the EU on March 29, with or without a Brexit deal.
Britain can withdraw Article 50 without seeking permission from EU officials, and the UK will stay in the EU.
But to extend, Mrs May will have to go to Brussels and formally ask EU officials for the process to be extended -and all 27 other EU countries will need to agree.
Tory former Chancellor Ken Clarke said he wanted to congratulate the Prime Minister on “accepting that we’re not remotely ready for the chaos of a no-deal departure on March 29”.
What will this mean for Brexit?
Brexit might still take place on March 29 this year, but only if MPs accept her Brexit deal.
On March 12, MPs are set to take part in the second “meaningful vote”, giving them a chance to back or reject her proposals.
If MPs reject her plans, Parliament will take a vote on whether to delay Brexit.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK citizens could find themselves subjected to longer waits at the border and exclusion from the use of e-gates for passport checks, official Government documents have said.
Signifiant EU export tariffs on beef, lamb and motor vehicles could also be introduced.
The alternative UK-EU divorce date, according to rumours, is April 18, Maundy Thursday.
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Other rumoured dates lie at the end of May or June.
Any extension beyond the end of June would require the UK to take part in the upcoming European Parliament elections, while a shorter delay “would almost certainly have to be a one-off”, Mrs May said.
Supporters and opponents of an extension believe it could lead to a second referendum.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer defends Jeremy Corbyn’s support for a second referendum