The vote on delaying Brexit in the Commons is the major focus today. A big question is… for how long. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said, “this is not in our control and the European Union is signaling that only if we have a deal is it likely to be willing to grant a short technical extension to get the legislation through.” He added “if we don’t have a deal, and if we’re still discussing among ourselves what is the right way to go forward, then it’s quite possible that the EU may insist on a significantly longer period”.
Opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell said “we will be putting an amendment down to ensure parliament considers an extension, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long extension”. He added “we will go for a limited extension today.”
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier urged the EU to discuss “constructively” with UK on the question of delaying Brexit. He emphasized “we urgently need clarity, we need clarity fast, but we will not make this by always criticizing our British friends and partners from a high moral standpoint, but only if we reach a reasonable solution”. And, he said “I would not set any artificial boundaries here”, regarding the time of the delay.