2018-03-06 —

Pro-EU lawmakers in all three main parties have raised privately the possibility of extending the Article 50 negotiation deadline beyond March 2019, so that if the public does change its mind, it won't be too late to stay. One lawmaker in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the goal is for Britain not leave the EU on March 29 next year. Another said the idea was gaining traction.

There are hurdles at home and abroad to such a strategy: The government has repeatedly said the U.K. is leaving in March 2019. The EU wants to get Brexit done with, and any extension would require unanimous approval on the European side.


A move to extend Article 50 would be strongly resisted by some Brexit supporters who would, correctly, see it as an attempt to stop the U.K. leaving the EU altogether. Other Brexit-backers however could see it as better than the transition arrangement that will leave the U.K. beholden to EU rules but without a vote on them.

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