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What’s next? Theresa May faces crucial week in Brexit battle

The PM is seeking a breakthrough in Westminster and Brussels.

Prime Minister Theresa May faces another tough Brexit week (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Theresa May faces another tough Brexit week (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

With Prime Minister Theresa May facing a crucial week in the Brexit process as she seeks breakthroughs at home and abroad, we look at the key events of the days ahead.

– Friday April 5

Mrs May wrote to European Council president Donald Tusk on Friday morning asking for an extension to Article 50 to June 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, talks are continuing between the Government and Labour on finding a way through the Brexit deadlock.

If no agreement is struck, but sufficient progress is made, it is possible dialogue could continue into the weekend as time ticks down to a crunch EU summit on Wednesday.

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The Labour negotiating team (Jonathan Brady/PA)

– Monday April 8

The House of Lords considers the remaining stages of the European Union Withdrawal (No.5) Bill.

The Bill, brought forward by backbenchers including Labour’s Yvette Cooper, allows Parliament to determine the length of any Brexit extension the Prime Minister should request at the EU summit on April 10.

If the Bill is passed by the Lords, it would go for Royal Assent. But any amendments to it would likely be considered by the Commons on Monday night.

Mrs May could outline her plans to the Commons and lay a Government motion regarding an extension of Article 50.

– Tuesday April 9

If the Cooper Bill is passed, the Commons would vote on the length of any Brexit extension the Prime Minister should request at the EU summit.

If an agreement is reached between the Government and Labour, it could be debated and voted on by MPs.

The Government could also bring forward various Brexit options for MPs to vote on.

However, the Government has indicated that a formal vote on Brexit may not be essential at this stage in order to provide the EU with the clarity on the UK stance that Brussels is seeking.

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The PM spelt out the UK’s plans in a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk (Rick Findler/PA)

– Wednesday April 10

Mrs May will be in the Commons for Prime Minister’s Question Time.

The PM will then travel to Brussels where she is expected to address a meeting of the other 27 EU heads of government in the early evening.

To be granted a further postponement, the Government will have to set out what purpose it would achieve.

All 27 EU states would have to agree on any extension.

– Thursday April 11

If the Cooper Bill has been passed by the Lords, it would place new requirements on the PM.

If the European Council proposes a different extension date, Mrs May would need to return to the Commons to obtain MPs’ approval.

It is also the final date for the UK to take steps to enable European Parliament elections to take place on May 23.

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If the Cooper Bill is passed, the Commons would vote on the length of any Brexit extension the Prime Minister should request (House of Lords)

– Friday April 12

If the Cooper Bill is passed, it would create the danger of an “accidental no-deal Brexit” on April 12, Downing Street has warned.

If MPs said no to any new extension date proposed by the EU, there would be no time to renegotiate the date with Brussels, according to the Government.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on April 12 after MPs rejected the Prime Minister’s deal.

Thursday May 23

European Parliament elections will take place – but it is not known yet if Britain will be taking part.

Mrs May said on Friday that the UK will make “responsible preparations” to take part if her deal is not ratified by MPs beforehand.

Sunday June 30

The Prime Minister has requested an extension to Article 50 until June 30, but says if her deal passes the Commons before then, the period should be terminated early.

Spring 2020

Mr Tusk is understood to be urging EU member states to offer the UK a “flexible” extension of up to a year.

PA

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