- Members of Parliament attempt to force Theresa May to delay Brexit again.
- A new bill brought forward by Labour MP Yvette Cooper would require the prime minister to seek an extension beyond the current Brexit date of April 12.
- The new bill comes after the House of Commons failed to vote for any of the alternatives to May’s deal.
- May’s Cabinet will meet for five hours on Tuesday to seek a way through the crisis.
LONDON — Theresa May could this week be forced to seek another delay to Brexit, under a new piece of legislation brought forward by Members of Parliament.
The legislation, called the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.5) Bill, could be passed through the House of Commons on Thursday if plans by MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit are successful.
Under the bill, drafted by Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Conservative MP Oliver Letwin, the prime minister would be forced to seek an indeterminate extension to the Article 50 process which is currently due to finish on April 12.
Any delay beyond that date would require the UK to take part in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May.
The length of any extension would be for the prime minister to decide in negotiations with the EU.
The House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said on Tuesday that he would allow the bill to pass through the House in just one day, if the Commons agrees to the timetable on Wednesday.
The decision to bring the legislation forward follows the failure of MPs on Monday evening to agree any alternative to leaving the EU under May’s deal.
MPs failed to vote for either a softer Brexit, a second referendum, or to revoke Article 50.
Senior EU figures warned on Tuesday that a no-deal Brexit was now a "likely" outcome.
"No deal was never our desired or intended scenario," the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier told an audience in Brussels.
"But the EU27 is now prepared. It becomes, day after day, more likely."
May’s Cabinet was due to meet for five hours on Tuesday in the latest attempt to find a way through the growing Brexit crisis.
- Dominic Raab: The divisive Brexiteer who could soon be Britain’s Prime Minister
- Deadlock: Parliament fails to back any alternatives to Theresa May’s Brexit deal
- Parliament votes to reject calls to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit