FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media during the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, Britain January 7, 2019. Anthony Devlin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May is considering a plan to delay Brexit to ensure the UK does not leave the European Union without a deal, Bloomberg reported here on Monday, citing people familiar with the situation.
May will propose that her cabinet discuss extending the March 29 deadline at a meeting on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. May would announce the conclusions of the meeting to parliament later in the day, it said.
Sterling jumped to a four-week high against the dollar after the report.
The Sun newspaper said, without citing sources, that May would open the door to a delay by proposing formally ruling out a “no-deal” Brexit scenario.
Seeking to delay Brexit would be a change of stance for the prime minister, who said on Monday it was no way to solve the impasse in parliament over the exit deal she has negotiated with Brussels.
The UK cannot extend the Brexit deadline unilaterally, however, and needs the European Union to sign on to the idea.
The Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday that the EU was determined to avoid a short extension only to have to revisit the issue in the summer when the mood in parliament is unlikely to have changed.
May put off a vote in parliament on her deal to March 12, just 17 days before Britain is due to leave the EU.
Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sonya Hepinstall