Theresa May has refuted claims by European Council president Donald Tusk that an extension to the Article 50 process is the ‘rational solution’.
Speaking in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, where he held talks with May on the margin of an EU/League of Arab States summit, Tusk said: ‘Prime minister May and I discussed yesterday a lot of issues including the legal and procedural context of a potential extension.
‘For me it is absolutely clear that (if) there is no majority in the House of Commons to approve a deal, we will face an alternative – chaotic Brexit or extension.
‘The less time there is until March 29, the greater the likelihood of an extension.
‘This is an objective fact, not our intention, not our plan, but an objective fact.
‘I believe that in the situation we are in an extension would be a rational solution, but prime minister May still believes she is able to avoid this scenario.
‘I can assure you – and I did it also yesterday in my meeting with prime minister May – that no matter which scenario will be, all the 27 will show maximum understanding and goodwill.’
But Theresa May continues to rule out any extension to Article 50.
‘An extension to Article 50, a delay in this process, doesn’t deliver a decision in parliament, it doesn’t deliver a deal,’ she said.
‘All it does is precisely what the word ‘delay’ says.
‘Any extension of Article 50 isn’t addressing the issues. We have it within our grasp.
‘I’ve had a real sense from the meetings I’ve had here and the conversations I’ve had in recent days that we can achieve that deal.’
Best for Britain supporter Jo Stevens MP said May is continuing to hold the country to ransom.
‘From the prime minister that brought us ‘Brexit means Brexit’, Maybot is now claiming that ‘any delay is a delay’.
‘While the tectonic plates are shifting on Brexit, the prime minister continues to have her fingers in her ears. It is shameful that May is holding the country ransom by toying with a cliff-edge Brexit.
‘It’s time for the government to do the right thing and put the country first. The people want their voice back on Brexit’