If no Brexit deal by March 20, parliament will get say on way forward - minister

LONDON (Reuters) - If British lawmakers have not passed a Brexit deal by March 20, the government will give parliament the opportunity to vote on the way forward, Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington said on Thursday.

The government has proposed to seek a three-month delay to Britain’s exit if a Brexit deal is approved by March 20, but has said a much longer extension of the Article 50 negotiation period would likely be needed if that has not happened.

“We would be faced with the prospect of choosing only a long extension during which the House (of Commons) would need to face up to the choices in front of it and the consequences of the decisions,” Lidington, Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy, told parliament.

“The government recognises that the House will require time to consider the potential ways forward in such a scenario so ... (the government) would facilitate a process in the two weeks after the March European Council to allow the House to seek a majority on the way forward.”

Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison