| |

"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 11th Apr 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

Halloween Brexit

The Tory Backlash has already begun

Over half of UK voters want a second referendum

When is a Customs Union not a Customs Union?

On Off European Elections

Macron's hard man act got on everyone's nerves

Few Incentives now for Tories or Labour to break the Brexit stalemate

EU Citizens 'Settled Status' computer system plagued with computer woes

  • Technical issues with the online application system have become a major issue for EU nationals seeking Settled Status. Some have been unable to get their email addresses even verified. Others have hit blank web pages at different parts of the online application process. The anger and frustration at the whole debacle is clearly mounting

Life-threatening drugs are scarce due to Brexit

Brexit stockpiling will have a sting in the tail for the economy

Economic Impact
Brexit stockpiling 'will have sting in the tail for economy' - claim
BDO's Mr Murphy fears this understandable degree of caution could have longer-term consequences. "Businesses have been stockpiling in fear of a hard border, so that if their customers need goods quickly, they'll have them. I can understand why they are doing this, but it is distorting some of the numbers. "If there's not a cataclysmic Brexit - and I don't think there will be - all those goods will have to be traded through. All of a sudden there will be a glut, which will affect prices. "All the indications suggest there won't be a hard border, even if it's a crash out and no deal, and there won't be any checks. "So while stockpiling may be a prudent thing to do, it could cause a sting in the tail."
IMF Issues Yet Another Warning Over U.K. Brexit Battle
The International Monetary Fund has produced another gloomy analysis of the dangers posed by a no-deal Brexit as the U.K. continues its attempts to avoid crashing out without an agreement at the end of this week. If Britain leaves without a deal this quarter, gross domestic product could be 1.4 percent lower in the first year when compared with a base-case scenario where an agreement is secured, the IMF said Tuesday. The hit rises to 3.5 percent by 2021, based on the gap between the scenario and current trend growth. A more chaotic exit, with heightened border disruptions and a greater tightening of financial conditions, could have a more severe impact, the study found.
Administrative Fall Out
Foreign nationals seeking 'settled status' in UK after Brexit hit by computer woes
Foreign nationals who have lived in the UK for years are being driven to despair by a government scheme aimed at guaranteeing their rights after Brexit. The Settled Status Advice Service, a campaign group which was set up to help applicants with the process, said technical issues with the online application system had been a “major issue” for EU nationals. Some have been unable to get their email addresses verified, while others have faced blank web pages at different parts of the online application process with no clear route forward.
Epilepsy and cancer drugs on record-high shortage list amid Brexit uncertainty
Medicines vital for managing epilepsy, cancer and life-threatening asthma attacks are among a record number of products which are currently facing shortages made worse by Brexit uncertainty. The number of drugs which the government is having to subsidise through the “concession” pricing list for short supply medicines has more than doubled since October. Britain’s impending exit from the European Union (EU) coupled with manufacturers’ views of the country as a “less attractive market” had caused the “significant” problems, according to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), which draws up the list.
More than 400,000 EU nationals apply to stay in UK after Brexit
More than 400,000 European nationals have applied to secure their stay in the UK after Brexit, the Home Office has disclosed. The number of applications received by the EU settlement scheme has increased by about 200,000 since it went live at the end of last month. More than 230,000 people applied during test phases before the full launch on 30 March. The Home Office also announced that 57 organisations would receive funding to help vulnerable applicants. Up to £9m has been set aside to ensure support is available to an estimated 200,000 individuals who may be marginalised or need extra help submitting their application.
Loss of EU doctors is a disaster for the NHS
It is disheartening that many doctors are feeling less welcome, writes Dr Chaand Nagpaul. Plus David Jost says Peterborough lost a very fine GP after the referendum
Political Shenanigans
Brexit: Over half of UK voters want second referendum
More than half of the public would like the Government’s final Brexit deal to be put to a referendum, according to a new poll. The Kantar poll of 1,172 people found that 51% of Britons would like a referendum to be held on the deal once negotiations between the Government and the EU have come to an end.
EU's Tusk tells UK - 'Don't waste Brexit overtime'
European Council President Donald Tusk told Britain on Thursday not to waste the extra time to sort out Brexit after the EU agreed a second delay to London’s departure until Oct.31. He said Britain still had all the options on Brexit available during the extension, from approving the stalled divorce deal, to changing its leave strategy to cancelling the departure altogether. EU leaders would review the situation at their regular summit in June. “June is not a cliff-edge, or a moment to take new decisions, it must be clear,” Tusk said. “June is not for decisions about extension. My intension is even not to discuss, but only to inform member states about the situation.”
Brexit: UK and EU agree Brexit delay to 31 October
The UK and the EU have agreed a "flexible extension" of Brexit until 31 October, European Council president Donald Tusk has said. Speaking after five hours of talks at an EU summit in Brussels, Mr Tusk said his "message to British friends" was "please do not waste this time". Theresa May said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal.
Britain could have 'a say' in trade deals if it joins customs union after Brexit, Irish prime minister says
Britain should have “a say” in any future customs union it joined with the European Union after Brexit, Ireland’s prime minister has said. Leo Varadkar’s intervention comes amid talks between Labour and the government over whether the UK should have such a trade arrangement after Brexit. Mr Varadkar said the UK would not be a “silent partner” in a customs union and that it was in the interests of both the EU and UK to sign a deal.
May says she aims to finish Brexit by June 30
British Prime Minister Theresa May says the European Union has granted her “key request” to add an early exit clause to its agreement to a six-month Brexit extension. The U.K. and the EU agreed early Thursday to delay Brexit until Oct. 31, but May says she wants to leave “as soon as possible.” She says that if U.K. lawmakers back her Brexit deal, her country can still leave before June 30 — the Brexit deadline that she had requested from the bloc. May says Britain faces “stark” choices “and the timetable is clear.”
UK risks losing European commissioner role over Brexit delay
France is expected to demand the removal of the post of British European commissioner as a price for a long Brexit delay, leaving Britain without a seat at the top table of Brussels decision-making for the first time since 1973. Senior EU sources say the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is likely to seek to entrench the UK’s reduced status in the EU at the leaders’ Brexit summit on Wednesday evening. The British government will have to agree to losing its commissioner but it is unlikely the prime minister will put up a fight when she is presented with the terms of an extension.
May signals she would accept EU offer of longer Brexit delay
Theresa May has signalled that she would accept the EU’s likely offer of a lengthy Brexit delay at a summit of leaders as the UK would still be able to leave when the withdrawal agreement is approved. Arriving in Brussels, the prime minister said it would still possible for Britain to quit by 22 May if the Commons chose to approve her Brexit deal in the coming weeks. May is expected to have her request for a limited extension to 30 June rejected by the EU27 in favour of a longer potential delay to Brexit of up to a year. The EU is split 50:50 on whether to offer an extension to the end of the year or 31 March 2020. The prime minister has previously said that she could not countenance the UK remaining an EU member state after 30 June, and had wanted to keep pressure on MPs to back her deal by creating another cliff-edge date.
Brexiters oppose a second referendum for one simple reason: They think they'll lose
"A lot of my colleagues want to stop Brexit," Labour MP Lisa Nandy told Sophie Ridge yesterday. "They don't say that they want to stop Brexit. They say they want a second referendum." It's a legitimate, if a bit tired argument, that deserves no more elaborate an answer than 'well, duh'. And yet it is trotted out practically every time any journalist interviews a supporter of a People's Vote, as if it were some huge revelation. The reverse point, however, is almost never made, but it has even more profound democratic implications.
Bloodied and bruised, MPs are genuinely trying to do their best
Before you start dusting off the stocks and gathering your rotten fruit, let me assure you that I am not looking for sympathy. It’s a privilege to be an MP. But it does feel as if we are under siege. One colleague has been murdered, another has faced a plot to murder her, dozens of women have had every kind of blood-curdling threat hurled at them in the streets or on so-called social media. Angry activists talk of treason, betrayal and treachery and our in-boxes are full of emails with too many capital letters. Just this weekend one MP had his house daubed, another had a violent attack at his constituency surgery, a third had her office windows smashed, and two other women MPs had to call the police
May prepares to plead for short Brexit delay
Theresa May today acknowledged that European leaders would reject her pleas for a short Brexit extension to keep pressure on MPs to approve her deal. Arriving at a special European summit in Brussels, the prime minister said that even though she had asked for a limited extension until June 30, most important was that the UK could leave as soon as the withdrawal agreement was ratified. EU leaders are expected to offer the prime minister an extension until December or even March next year. Under Article 50, it would end as soon as a Brexit deal was concluded.
Theresa May sets herself up to stay on as prime minister until 2020 as EU eyes long Brexit extension
Theresa May is set to enrage her critics within the Conservative party after setting herself up to stay on as prime minister until 2020 while presiding over a long delay to Brexit. She told MPs just weeks ago that she was “not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June” as prime minister and said she would resign once this stage of talks was complete – prompting her rivals to gear up for a summer leadership contest. But as EU leaders met on Wednesday night to decide on another Article 50 extension that could run until at least the end of the year, a Conservative source said the prime minister’s promised departure was tied to passing the withdrawal agreement rather than a specific date.
Are Labour really heading for a landslide win in the European elections?
Labour are on course for a blow-out victory in the coming European elections, at least if the first poll of the contest, by Hanbury Strategy for the think tank Open Europe. However, many polls struggle to reach voters from certain groups - smart phone usage may be high among the Labour voting young, but much lower across the over 50s or 60s - as an example. So don't be too quick to put any weight on this intial poll and wait for more work to appear
Britain and EU wrestle with Boris Johnson question
“The idea of a ‘Boris lock’ is ridiculous,” said a senior Conservative MP. “Parliament can’t bind its successors, no matter what the prime minister might agree with Labour or the EU.”Labour remains agitated about Mr Johnson as Westminster is absorbed by speculation that Mrs May’s last days as prime minister are approaching. Although Mrs May has said she would only resign once her Brexit deal is passed by parliament, most Conservative MPs believe she will leave office in the autumn. Others believe she will have been pushed out by the summer Mr Johnson is the favoured candidate of the party’s grassroots, according to surveys by the ConservativeHome website. He is also the favourite in the betting markets — followed by former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and environment secretary Michael Gove. All three are strong Brexit proponents, and Mr Johnson and Mr Raab are fierce critics of Mrs May’s exit deal with the EU, although they voted for it in the House of Commons at the third time of asking. Hence Labour’s fear that, without strong guarantees, any deal with Mrs May might fail to last out the year.
Theresa May is going to revoke Article 50 and she just can't admit it
In the 1,022 days since 17.4million people voted for Brexit, some wonderful things have happened. Most of the country now understands the Good Friday Agreement, knows how the single market works, and has figured out that Boris Johnson is about as poisonous, emissions-wise, as a rocket made of bratwurst and powered by some posh throbber hanging out of the window and shouting "BLAAAAAH!" at passers-by. This newly-discovered knowledge is of benefit to the nation, but there is a price to pay. We've also got political chaos, the Far Right, and some sadist on a TV news desk has deemed it necessary for us to have a daily dose of that strutting knuckle Mark Francois.
Blow for Theresa May as poll shows Tories face European elections drubbing
Theresa May hopes to get her deal through ahead of 23 May so that Britain does not have to take part, however it appears increasingly likely that the UK will need to send MEPs to Brussels as part of an agreed extension with the bloc. A poll for Open Europe found that fewer than one in four voters (23%) would opt for the Tories, while Jeremy Corbyn’s party would rake in 38% of the vote.
Labour and Tories reluctantly prepare for European elections
The official starting gun has been fired on a set of UK European elections that are distinct in two particular ways: first, they might never happen; and second, if they do, the smaller parties are looking forward to them more than the main ones. On Monday, a “day of poll order” was laid in parliament, putting in place the legal groundwork for voting on 23 May, something that will not happen if Theresa May secures a Brexit deal in the interim.
EU grants UK Brexit delay until 'October 31'
The UK has been granted an extension to Article 50, with reports suggesting that it could be until Halloween, with a review in June. Theresa May is yet to agree to the offer and will meet with European Council President Donald Tusk in the early hours of Thursday morning. Late on Wednesday night, following a summit with EU leaders which lasted for more than six hours, Mr Tusk confirmed an extension had been agreed on, tweeting that the "EU27 has agreed an extension of Article 50" and that he will now meet Theresa May to get the UK Government's agreement to these plans.
Labour on track for victory in European parliament elections that could hand EU commission presidency to socialists, polls show
A strong result for Labour in the European parliament elections could be enough to hand the European Commission presidency back to the continent’s centre-left, according to the latest polls. The race to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as commission president is in practice a contest between the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), which has dominated the parliament since 1999, and the centre-left socialist group. Under the EU’s so-called “Spitzenkandidat” system the lead candidate for the group that comes top in the elections becomes the commission president, as long as member states approve. With the latest polling showing a Labour landslide in the UK, Britain’s 73 MEPs could be enough to tip the balance of power in Brussels and clinch victory for the socialists – shifting the priorities of the whole EU leftwards.
Theresa May stands by pledge to cling on until Brexit deal is done
Theresa May will attempt to cling to power during the Brexit delay as Conservative sources said she was sticking by her pledge to see through the first phase of talks and pass a withdrawal deal. As EU leaders gathered to discuss an extension to article 50 of about nine months, May dropped her promise not to allow a delay to Brexit beyond 30 June while she was prime minister. However, she is abiding by her decision to step down only once a Brexit deal with the EU has been passed by parliament, meaning she looks likely to stay on and keep trying to push through a withdrawal agreement for as long as it takes. Arriving at the talks, May signalled she would accept a much longer delay from EU leaders – expected to be nine to 12 months – as long as there was a “break clause” allowing the UK to leave as soon as MPs approve a deal with a meaningful vote.
Brexit Delayed Until Halloween But UK Can Leave Earlier If It Can Agree Exit Deal
Theresa May has agreed to delay Brexit until Halloween to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal on Friday. During an historic six hour summit in Brussels, the other 27 EU leaders thrashed out the length and terms of a so-called “flextension” which will come to an end on October 31 over four hours, with the prime minister locked out of the room. May had been asking for a short delay until June 30 to avoid a no-deal Brexit on the previously agreed cliff edge April 12, previously suggesting she could resign if Article 50 was extended any longer. But she accepted the six-month postponement after stressing that her main goal was ensuring the UK could get out of the EU early if she could find a way to break the Westminster impasse and pass a Brexit deal in parliament.
The Guardian view on Britain in Europe: an inevitable partnership
Brexit delay will force the UK to confront the fact that its future is intertwined with the European project
What makes somebody change their mind about Brexit?
Leading Brexiter voice Peter Oborne has done a U-turn, showing that even locked-in beliefs have a tipping point
Political Setbacks
New Brexit delay is the final confirmation of Theresa May’s failure as a Prime Minister
The new Brexit postponement is the final confirmation of Theresa May’s failure. She must now accept the game is up. She has done her best. But she had one job and has not delivered on it. Nor can she. She has no workable plan to do so. There is no deal the Prime Minister and Corbyn could cook up that would secure a majority, leaving Labour MPs willing to quit
To the toughest sales pitch in the nation’s history, enter Theresa May, its worst ever salesperson
A long extension is very much likely to yield unto them a British prime minister from the deranged wing of the Conservative Party, or Jeremy Corbyn, who has expanded the deranged wing of the Labour Party so as to take it over entirely. And if you think Theresa May and co have done an abysmal job negotiating Brexit, just wait till those legends have a go, the ones with their semi-customs union that isn’t a customs union but does give the UK a say over the actual customs union that they’re not even in.
The EU’s new October extension finishes off May and her deal
Wednesday night’s humiliation, when 27 other nations decided our fate – a taster of Norway-plus or “common market 2.0”, where decisions are made about the UK without our presence – exposes the lies of the Brexiters and the impossibility of a strong and stable position outside the EU. History will recall that Britons did not value their power in Europe until they lost it. Theresa May, too, was humiliated once again but it does not cut deeply since she appears to feels no shame. She remains convinced she was and is right: that blame is to be found with her detractors and not with her deal or leadership.
Macron Gets on Everyone's Nerves With Brexit Hard Man Act
The compromise that was ultimately reached, for an October cutoff, means the U.K. would leave before the next EU Commission takes office and limit London’s entanglement in the next phase of EU business. Macron claimed that as a win. But to get there he exposed the tensions between the 27 countries negotiating with Britain for the first time in the talks. All he got for it was a reduction of a few months in the deadline. And Britain could still get another extension after October.
Theresa May admits 'huge frustration' as she agrees Halloween Brexit delay
Theresa May has agreed a delay to Brexit until Halloween after EU leaders offered another extension to Article 50 at a late-night Brussels summit. In the early hours of the morning, leaders of the remaining 27 EU member states decided to give the prime minister an extra six-and-a-half-month period in which to break the Brexit deadlock at Westminster. European Council President Donald Tusk warned the UK: "Please do not waste this time."
Few incentives for Tories or Labour to break Brexit stalemate
Jeremy Corbyn’s MPs are not so optimistic about the idea of new binding votes. They fear that the bulk of Tory MPs, rather than coming off the fence to support softer Brexit options, will oppose them all again in an attempt to ensure that Mrs May’s deal is closer to a majority than any other option. At that point the pressure would become more intense than ever on Labour MPs (and Tory holdouts) to take her deal over the line. Or to put it another way: neither the cross-party talks nor another indicative votes process looks likely to succeed. Which means the Brexit stalemate is likely to endure despite the EU’s extension.
Hardline Brexiteers want to blame the Queen for their grim mistakes, truly the Leave campaign is eating itself
Andrew Lilico has been one of Brexit’s most bizarre and outspoken commentators. He was dragged from obscurity by a Leave campaign scrambling for supporters who could offer some kind of counter argument to the legions of economists warning of Brexit’s dangers. His latest intervention was to brand the monarchy “no longer fit for purpose” in an extraordinary tweet reacting to the passing of the Bill. He was backed up by Suzanne Evans, the former Ukip leadership candidate, who described his comment as “spot on”. What makes these quasi-Republican conversions so astonishing is that Brexit was supposed to strengthen the role of parliament in British law and policymaking. So, in some senses, not only has Her Majesty done nothing wrong in passing legislation approved by parliament, she has in fact stood firmly behind the most central principle in the (unwritten) British constitution: namely that parliament is sovereign.
Outrage as more than 160 MPs make £42million profit selling homes YOU helped pay for
Campaigners last night demanded MPs who pocketed vast sums after flogging their taxpayer-subsidised homes pay back the cash. On the 10th anniversary of the Westminster expenses scandal that shocked Britain, the Mirror can reveal 160 politicians raked in more than £42million in profits selling properties public money helped fund.
Iain Duncan Smith asked if his ‘entire professional life as a politician has been a waste of time’ during Sky News Brexit clash
Iain Duncan Smith said 'puffed up' politicians are trying to 'deny' people Brexit Sky News' Adam Boulton asked him if his 'entire professional life as a politician has been a waste of time' as a result
WATCH: Minister supports sticker suggestion to solve EU passport issue
A Home Office minister appeared to agree with a suggestion for her department to produce peel-off “European Union” stickers for those who still want it on their passport. The mocking suggestion was sugegested by a Brexiteer in the House of Lords as ministers were challenged over the issuing of the travel documents without the words on the front cover despite the Brexit delay.
Tories resigned to long Brexit delay but warn against customs union
Conservative MPs have said they are now unhappily resigned to a long extension to the date for leaving the EU. Many in the Tory party now believe May is likely to be forced out if she agrees deal with Labour
New bid to oust Theresa May as MPs attempt to gather 10,000 signatures to change the Tory constitution
Tory MPs are plotting to oust Theresa May by changing a party rule which states that a Prime Minister cannot be kicked out within 12 months of winning a no confidence vote. With the Tories plunged into civil war following Mrs May’s attempted customs union compromise with Jeremy Corbyn, a number of unnamed MPs have called on their association chairmen to gather signatures to push through the rule change under schedule 9 of the Conservative Party Constitution. It states that party rules can be changed with a petition signed by 10,000 Tory members.
Grovelling Britain has officially surrendered to a triumphant EU
So now, the begging. Theresa May has gone off to Brussels to say that Britain is very sorry, we know we have many faults and the EU has been quite right to be strict with us, but could we please stay? We’ll be good, honest we will! You’ll see! Apparently the French are sceptical and Emmanuel Macron is to tell us that we’ll only be allowed to stay if we promise to be a good little country, sitting still and being quiet, not making any fuss about the EU’s Budget or any other plans.
Exasperated Nick Ferrari Reveals He's Finally Given Up On Brexit
Brexiteer presenter Nick Ferrari confessed he had given up on Brexit, admitting that he's had "enough" and wants the country to move on. Theresa May is facing the prospect of being offered a Brexit delay of up to a year at an emergency EU summit in Brussels. The prime minister has been pushing for a delay to the end of June, with the possibility of Britain leaving at an earlier date if her Brexit deal is approved. But her hopes look set to be dashed, having already been granted one short extension to the process. In a letter to the remaining 27 EU member states, European Council President Donald Tusk said that the European Council should discuss a longer extension, such as a "flexible extension" lasting "as long as necessary and no longer than one year"
Labour warns Brexit talks with Government will fail unless Theresa May ditches red lines
A Labour spokesman painted a gloomier picture of how the talks are going. He said: "Jeremy (Corbyn) made clear that we would enter into those talks in a serious way without setting limits and to explore the possibilities of coming to find an alternative plan that could win support in Parliament, be negotiated with the EU and bring the country together. That’s the way we’ve approached the talks. "They are being conducted in a serious, detailed and engaged way. But at the same time, as Jeremy, Becky Long Bailey and Keir Starmer have all said at different points, we’ve yet to see clear evidence of the kind of real change and compromise that would be necessary to reach an agreement. "The Government side has been engaged in the detail explaining its position and how it sees its own deal, which has been rejected three times in Parliament. But there really is going to need to be a move off their red lines in a substantive way if we’re going to reach an agreement." The spokesman added: "We're not walking off the talks, but this process obviously has to move forward."
@ByDonkeys We’re in Brussels reminding Europe’s leaders of the donkeys responsible for this Brexit shambles.
We’re in Brussels reminding Europe’s leaders of the donkeys responsible for this Brexit shambles. SOUND ON. (Location: European Parliament Liaison Office)
Macron to warn Theresa May that Britain will have no say over trade in Brexit customs union
Emmanuel Macron will warn Theresa May that Britain will never have a say over trade negotiations if it joins a customs union with the EU at tonight’s summit in Brussels, in a blow to the prime minister's hopes of securing a cross-party Brexit compromise. Mr Macron will insist that whatever the result of cross-party talks on the future UK-EU relationship, the “autonomy of EU decision-making” must be protected, including on trade. Whatever compromise is found, Mr Macron will warn, it must respect the EU’s long-held Brexit red lines and will not allow any “cherry-picking”. An EU diplomat said, “If Britain relaxes its Brexit red lines, we can help but we are not changing any of our red lines.”
PM's weak Brexit approach demeans this great nation, says Arlene Foster
DUP leader Arlene Foster has accused the Prime Minister of "demeaning the strength of this great nation" in her "weak" approach to the Brexit talks. Mrs Foster said the decision to leave the EU was not the problem but rather Theresa May's "ham-fisted" approach to the talks and accused the Prime Minister of trying to force people into backing her Brexit deal.
Labour warns Brexit talks with Government will fail unless Theresa May ditches red lines
Talks aimed at reaching a Brexit deal between the Government and opposition are doomed to fail unless Theresa May ditches her red lines, Labour has warned.
Brexiteer big beasts lead Tory revolt as 177 of May’s own MPs fail to back another Brexit delay
Cabinet Brexiteer big-wigs last night led a fresh Tory revolt on Theresa May's plan to seek another delay to leaving the EU. Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox were two of 177 Tory MPs who failed to support a June 30 extension, which the PM is begging other EU leaders for today. Some 97 Tories voted against the motion to seek a delay in a move forced on the Government by Labour’s Yvette Cooper. That included ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, ex-DWP boss Esther McVey and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. And a further 80 abstained including Attorney General Geoffrey Cox – despite being ‘whipped’ by party chiefs to support it. One member of the Government told The Sun: "I told the whips I just couldn't vote for a delay even if that got me sacked - they turned a blind eye." And dozens are thought to be away from Westminster on holiday despite Easter recess being cancelled. But it meant just 131 Tories actually backed the PM’s formal request
Brexiteer claims it is ILLEGAL for UK to stay in the EU beyond Friday
An arch-Eurosceptic today warned the EU he will launch a legal challenge in Britain if they delay Brexit for up to a year tonight. Tory MP Sir Bill Cash says he believes it will be illegal for the UK to be kept in the bloc beyond Friday and will go to court if Theresa May accepts any Article 50 extension.