Lawmakers: UK Should Consider Postponing Brexit

On Sunday, a key committee of British lawmakers said that the United Kingdom should consider postponing Brexit since there may not be enough time to reach a deal with the European Union before Britain withdraws from the bloc a year from now.

The House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee said that if major aspects of the future relationship with the European Union will remain unsettled by October, Britain should ask for a “limited extension” of its membership with the European Union.

Britain and the European Union want a deal on future relations to be settled by the fall so national parliaments can be able to approve the said deal before Britain leaves the 28-nation bloc officially on the 29th of March 2019.

In a report that was published last Sunday, the lawmakers said that a proposed transition period of approximately two years should also be able to be extended if required. Both sides have agreed in principle that the United Kingdom will continue to remain part of the structures and rules of the bloc until the end of 2020.

Seven pro-Brexit members of the 21-member all-party committee did not support the report, preparing an alternative version that had a more uncompromising tone toward the European Union.

The report that was supported by the majority said that it is worrying that there has been “little progress” in solving the principal issue of how to retain an open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Britain and the European Union agree that there must be no customs posts or other infrastructure that will be established along the all-but-invisible border. However, the committee said that Britain has yet to put forward credible proposals for how this could actually work.

Hilary Benn, Labour lawmaker and the chairman of the committee said: “We know of no international border, other than the internal borders of the EU, that operates without checks and physical infrastructure.”

The pro-Brexit dissenters filed an alternative document, accusing the European Union of taking an unhelpful approach to the issue regarding the border. They suggested that the new technology and “streamlined” customs arrangements may be able to deliver a frictionless border.

Instead of having the United Kingdom seek to extend its membership in the European Union, the minority group said that Britan should walk away without a deal if discussions bog down.