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Brexit live: Delay is matter of ‘personal regret’, Prime Minister says

All the latest developments after the Prime Minister asked the EU for an extension to article 50.

Theresa May makes her statement (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Theresa May makes her statement (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Theresa May has said in a televised statement that it was a matter of “great personal regret” that she is asking the EU for a “short delay” to the Brexit process.

The Prime Minister held a series of meetings with opposition parties over the course of the evening.

Here are all the latest developments:

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Theresa May leaves after making her statement (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Parliament needs to make decision, PM says

Mrs May said it was “high time” Parliament made a decision on the way forward.

“So far Parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice. All MPs have been willing to say is what they do not want,” she said.

“I passionately hope MPs will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU.

“I will continue to work night and day to secure the support of my colleagues, the DUP and others for this deal. But I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30.”

Voters want this stage finished: May

The Prime Minister blamed MPs for failing to agree a means to implement the result of the 2016 referendum and said she believes voters just want this stage of the Brexit process to be over. And she told voters: “I am on your side.”

Mrs May said: “Of this, I am absolutely sure: You the public have had enough. You are tired of the infighting, you’re tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children’s schools, our National Health Service, knife crime.

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Theresa May has described the delay to Brexit as a “matter of great personal regret”, adding: “It is now time for MPs to decide.”

Mrs May told the public: “You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I’m on your side.”

She said the public wanted politicians to “get on with it” and finished by saying: “That is what I am determined to do.”

Corbyn ‘juvenile’, Umunna says

Independent Group spokesman Chuka Umunna has described Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to engage in talks as “extraordinary” and “very juvenile”.

Speaking to Sky News in a clip he shared to Twitter, Mr Umunna said the country is in “a crisis situation” and the people of the UK expect conflicting political groups to “come together” to find a way forward.

“That’s why the Prime Minister convened the meeting and I welcome the fact she did so,” he said.

“I think it’s really extraordinary behaviour for the Leader of the Opposition to behave in really this kind of very juvenile way when the moment demands that we all step up and engage in some serious dialogue to find our way through this chaos and this mess.

“But he will have to explain his actions.”

Here’s the moment earlier when the Prime Minister informed the Commons of her delay request

SNP also criticises Labour leader

SNP MP Stewart McDonald has told Jeremy Corbyn to “get a grip” after his refusal to engage in talks with the Independent Group present.

He tweeted: “I mean honestly, nine days until the country he wants to be Prime Minister of leaves the EU and @jeremycorbyn has gone full ‘you can’t sit with us’.

“This isn’t Mean Girls. Get a grip of your life, man!”

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(PA Graphics)
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Chancellor Philip Hammond arrives back in Downing Street for talks with the PM (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Former Labour MP criticises Corbyn

Corbyn refuses talks invite

Jeremy Corbyn refused to take part in opposition party talks because members of the breakaway Independent Group were present, other leaders said.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: “That is rather a strange way to behave in a national crisis.”

Chuka Umunna, spokesman for The Independent Group, said: “I find it extraordinary behaviour in a national crisis.”

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Theresa May arrives at the Houses of Parliament (Victoria Jones/PA)

Parties call for continuous session

The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have called for Parliament to sit in “continuous session” until it can agree a “clear plan” for Brexit.

In a joint statement ahead of their meeting with Theresa May, the four Westminster party leaders – Ian Blackford, Sir Vince Cable, Liz Saville Roberts and Caroline Lucas – said a plan was needed that would enable the EU to agree a delay to Brexit beyond June 30.

They said that if the Commons was unable to agree a way forward they would be prepared “as a last resort” to take steps to secure a vote on revoking the Article 50 withdrawal process altogether.

“We agree that the House of Commons must formulate a plan that will give the EU Council the confidence to agree a longer extension beyond June 30, so that by the end of next week legislation can be in place to prevent a no-deal exit,” they said.

“Parliament should now sit in continuous session until it can reach a decision and set out a clear plan.

“We will be pushing for the House of Commons to support a referendum on remaining in the EU, others will put forward their own positions.

“If the Commons cannot agree, as a last resort we would be prepared to take steps to secure a parliamentary vote on the revocation of Article 50.”

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