Theresa May must present her final Brexit deal to MPs by NEXT WEEK in order to meet deadline for leaving EU


THERESA May must introduce her final Brexit deal to Parliament by the end of next week – or miss her June 30 deadline for leaving the EU, The Sun has learnt.

A Cabinet minister said the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the crucial law that will enact our EU departure, will need roughly six weeks to pass both the Commons and Lords.

The UK will not be able to leave the EU in June if Mrs May’s new Brexit deal is not presented to MPs by next week

The Government has all-but given up hope of getting a Brexit deal through in time to avoid having to go ahead with the European elections on May 23.

The PM has instead focussed her efforts on a June 30 exit date – because that is the last possible date before the new MEPs are due to take up their places.

The terms of the latest extension agreed with Brussels allows Britain to leave on June 30 – otherwise our departure will be delayed until October 31.

The influential Cabinet minister said the PM must introduce the Bill to the Commons by May 10 – seven weeks before June 30.

That gives the Government a week’s leeway – either to give MPs’ their usual Whitsun recess or enough time for the European Parliament to reconvene to ratify the final deal.

Ministers expect the House of Lords to approve at least three amendments to the draft law – including a second referendum and a customs union.

That will send it back to the House of Commons as part of the ‘ping-pong process between the two Houses – requiring additional time to pass the key Bill.

MPs are likely to overturn any attempts by peers to force through a second referendum – sending it back to the Lords for another stage.

The Cabinet Minister also said the PM had now run out of time to pass a Brexit deal in time to avoid having to hold the May 23 European elections.

The PM has repeatedly claimed she can avoid the Euro elections and said she has until May 22 to cancel the nationwide poll, despite the £108 million cost to taxpayers.

We need to fix Brexit quickly. The ball is in the UK court – the ball is in London. It has been six months since the deal was agreed between the EU and the UK.

Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator

But the influential Minister told The Sun there was “almost no chance” of getting the legislation through in time, adding: “It would be madness to attempt that.”

Yesterday a leading QC said it would be illegal to cancel the European elections.

Jessica Simor, an MEP candidate for Change UK, said the PM would face legal action from EU citizens based in Britain if she canned the vote – because it would breach human rights laws.

It comes as the Universities Minister yesterday confirmed the Government is considering proposals to charge EU students the same amount as their non-EU counterparts for studying in the UK after Brexit.

Chris Skidmore said no final decision had been made, but said continuing to fund free EU student places would take money “out of the pockets” of Sure Start children’s centres.

Meanwhile a survey by BMG research has found Brits view post-Brexit trade as Britain’s number one foreign policy priority – and want ministers to spend more on boosting our trade overseas than any other area.

A league table compiled by the Paris-based OECD revealed Britain received the highest amount of inward investment in the whole of the EU.

EU: Boris is to blame

By Matt Dathan, Senior Political Correspondent and Steve Hawkes, Deputy Political Editor

BORIS Johnson and other Leave leaders are to blame for the Brexit impasse because they “rushed” Theresa May into agreeing to the EU’s terms for leaving, a former EU trade commissioner has said.

Pascal Lamy, who also led the World Trade Organisation, said the decision by the EU and Britain to separate the divorce deal and the future trade deal was “the wrong choice”.

Pointing the finger of blame at Brexiteers, Mr Lamy said: “She was in a hurry, she was under huge pressure from Boris Johnson, Brexiters and the rest and she said ‘Brexit is Brexit, we will Brexit’.

“They rushed into this first stage without understanding that this huge unclarity on the next stage would have a big bearing on the discussion.”

Mr Lamy also mocked Brexiteers on air by saying the idea alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border in Ireland was “pie in the sky” – whirling a finger around his head.

Challenged by ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith he told BBC’s Politics Live show: “This notion that exiting the internal market implies no border on Ireland is pie in the sky.”

He claimed Margaret Thatcher had always been in favour of removing barriers to trade. And he said the likelihood of “no Brexit” had gone up in the past year as Brits realised that leaving the EU was harder than they believed.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Some thought Brexit would be short surgical de-plug operation – that was not to be. Brexit has always been and we should have always understood it would be a long painful unscrambling.”

He added: “The public decided they wanted to leave with absolutely no clue of what the implications of that would be economically.”

Inwards investment stock was worth £1,460 billion – the third highest in the world behind the US and China.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith warned that Tory Brexiteers will let Jeremy Corbyn into No.10 if they carry on championing Nigel Farage’s new party.

The arch Eurosceptic dismissed the idea of backing the new ‘Brexit Party’ and said the ex-UKIP chief threatens to hand power to the Labour leader by costing the Tories critical votes.

Meanwhile, Michel Barnier said he wants to see progress made on the talks between the Government and Labour by the end of the week.

Speaking in Belgium the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said: “We need to fix Brexit quickly. The ball is in the UK court – the ball is in London. It has been six months since the deal was agreed between the EU and the UK.

“The EU agreed to give the UK more time because the UK has requested to, and so talks are still ongoing in London – that is where the deadlock must be broken. We are hoping to see the results of the cross-party talks this week.

“As we have always said, should the UK be prepared to change their red lines and their wish for a more ambitious future relationship we are ready on our side to consider this because obviously the UK in any case will remain a strong and great country, a partner, an ally and a friend.”

The PM has already failed to get MPs to vote for her Brexit deal on three separate occasions

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