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Cooper-Letwin, forcing Article 50 to be delayed, is enacted and adds to the constraints on TMay

April 9th, 2019

The backbench bill that went through in three days

Overnight the Queen signed what’s become known as the Cooper-Letwin measures thus making it now the law that TMay cannot take the UK out of the EU without a deal. The terms of the extension have to be agreed with Brussels.

On Saturday David Herdson argued here that this measure has “probably killed Brexit”.

With one more deadline, April 12th, now looming TMay is once again off on her travels trying secure an Article 50 extension which now looks set to go beyond the EU elections on May 23rd in which the UK are likely to participate in.

This, of itself, causes mayhem throughout the EU because the UK’s MEP seats had all been re-allocated and party selections in the 27 countries that remain had already taken place for seats that will no longer be available.

Everything goes back to the referendum itself and the lack of definition of what actually leave was going to mean. The polling at the time suggested that most voters thought that the UK would continue to be part of the customs union if not part of the EU itself. Even 42% of leave voters, polling showed, took this view.

What is clear is that decisions could be taken in the next 72 hours that could profoundly impact on life in the UK for generations and it is still unclear what will happen.

Mike Smithson