December 27, 2018 / 12:07 AM / 20 days ago

EU's Oettinger sees chance British parliament votes for Brexit deal in January

FILE PHOTO: European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a news conference to present the EU executive's final proposal for the bloc's next long-term budget, in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Thursday there is still a chance that Britain’s parliament will vote in favour of the Brexit agreement in January and that there was no public support for a disorderly Brexit or another referendum.

Prime Minister Theresa May has struck a withdrawal agreement with Brussels but she was forced to postpone a parliamentary vote on it earlier this month after admitting she would lose by a large margin. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

“It is not entirely unlikely that the British parliament will vote for the divorce agreement in January,” Oettinger told Funke Media Group in an interview. “There is certainly no majority for a disorderly Brexit or for a new referendum.”

Oettinger said that the likelihood of Britain remaining in the EU had increased slightly over the past few months. “Nevertheless, I assume that it will come to an exit at the end of March,” said Oettinger, the EU’s budget commissioner.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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