UK may never leave EU if deal rejected: May

UK may never leave EU if deal rejected: May

GRIMSBY
UK may never leave EU if deal rejected: May

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned lawmakers on March 8 that if they reject her Brexit divorce deal next week, Britain may never leave the European Union.

Lawmakers are due to vote on May's Brexit plan for a second time on March 12, two months after roundly rejecting it and less than three weeks before Britain's is due to leave the bloc.

So far there is little sign of May getting the concessions from Brussels that she says would reverse her previous defeat.

"It needs just one more push to address the final, specific concerns of our parliament," May said in a speech in Grimsby, a port town in northern England where 70 percent of voters backed the decision to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

"So let's not hold back. Let's do what is necessary for MPs to back the deal on Tuesday," she said, warning that "no-one knows what will happen" if it is rejected.

If Parliament rejects the deal, lawmakers will get to vote on whether to seek a delay to Brexit.

May warned lawmakers that could lead to "more months and years" of argument over Brexit. She says "if we go down that road we may never leave the EU at all."

London and Brussels are at loggerheads over the so-called Northern Irish backstop, which seeks to prevent the return of physical border controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland - the only land frontier between the United Kingdom and the bloc.

May wants legally binding assurances from the EU that Britain will not be trapped permanently in the backstop, which involves keeping Britain in a customs union with the bloc.

Brexit, Theresa May, deal