January 26, 2019 / 9:20 AM / 2 months ago

Brexit date could be pushed back by a "couple of extra weeks"- Leadsom

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The date Britain leaves the EU could be pushed back by a couple of weeks to give time for legislation to be approved by lawmakers, the leader of Britain’s lower house of parliament said, the most senior figure to make such a suggestion.

Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29 but after lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal, it remains unclear how the country will leave the EU, opening up the possibility of a no-deal exit.

Parliament will vote on a series of amendments on Tuesday as the clock ticks down on Britain’s departure date.

“We can get the legislation through and I think we do, in spite of everything, have a very strong relationship with our EU friends and neighbours and I am absolutely certain that if we needed a couple of extra weeks or something then that would be feasible,” Andrea Leadsom told the BBC.

Responding to the idea that this would mean extending the two-year Article 50 negotiation period, Leadsom told the BBC:

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that. I think we would want to think carefully about it. But as things stand I do feel that we can get, with the support of both Houses - the House of Commons and the House of Lords - with goodwill and a determination we can still get the legislation through in good time.” (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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