BRITAIN will have to hold elections to the European Parliament this month as the prospect of a Brexit deal being passed looks increasingly unlikely, a government minister has said.
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said it would not be possible for Westminster to pass the proposed Withdrawal Agreement before the vote. That means Britain legally has to stage the election, Lidington added.
The election is due to take place on Thursday May 23. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said she ‘deeply regretted’ the Brexit delay.
The prime minister is hoping Britain will leave the EU before MEPs begin sitting for the next session of the bloc’s parliament in July.
Britain’s Electoral Commission, which had to prepare for the vote before today’s (Tuesday) announcement, previously said it had been put in an ‘unprecedented’ position.
It comes as talks between the ruling Conservatives and Labour opposition continue in a bid to reach a parliamentary consensus on the Brexit deal to break the current impasse.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said ahead of today’s talks it was ‘crunch time’ for the government to decide what compromises it could make to get the deal passed.