Bangla sanglap Desk: Theresa May faced a fierce Tory backlash today after admitting that full Brexit could be delayed until the next general election in 2022.
The Prime Minister pushed back the ultimate deadline for ending the transition period to six years after the 2016 referendum.
It drew a furious reaction from Brexiteer MPs. Former Conservative leader Lord Howard said: “That would be just kicking the can down the line yet again.” The row came as the Prime Minister’s enemies made an appeal to Tory MPs to honour promises made to write letters to trigger a confidence vote in her leadership.
A confidence vote was described as “teetering close” by former Brexit secretary David Davis. The Government faced a possible defeat on the Finance Bill over an amendment from Remain MPs who were demanding an economic analysis of how much worse off Britain would be under Mrs May’s deal compared with staying in the EU. Eleven Tories signed the amendment — enough to wipe out the Prime Minister’s majority.
Under pressure on Brexit: Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in London on Monday (Andy Rain/EPA)
An option of postponing the end of the transition period — during which time the UK will honour EU rules and pay substantial fees — was offered by European Union negotiator Michel Barnier as a way of avoiding the controversial Northern Ireland backstop. He suggested December 31, 2022.
Mrs May said she preferred the election date, June 2022, as a final deadline, which is some six months earlier.