May: 'High time MPs make a decision on Brexit'

By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter, Sanya Burgess, news reporter

A combative Theresa May said it is "high time" MPs make a decision on Brexit in a Downing Street address to the nation.

Mrs May has asked the EU to delay Britain leaving the EU, proposing to push the exit date of 29 March back to 30 June.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the prime minister said MPs "unable" to agree on her Brexit deal had caused the request for an extension.

"This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me", she said, adding: "It is high time that we made a decision."

She added: "All MPs have been willing to say is what they don't want.

"Nearly three years have passed since the public have voted to leave the European Union… I came to office on a promise to deliver on that verdict."

The PM said she understood the public has "had enough" and are "tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns".

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"You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree, I am on your side," she said.

"It is now time for MPs to decide."

She continued: "I passionately hope MPs will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU… I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June".

Mrs May will be meeting leaders in Brussels tomorrow.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the request to delay Brexit was "possible" but only if MPs pass the prime minister's deal in parliament next week.

He added: "Even if the hope for a final success may seem frail, even illusory, and all the Brexit fatigue is increasingly visible and justified, we cannot give up seeking until the very last moment a positive solution."

Responding to reports France could veto the delay request, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said: "No, it is my understanding… that [President Emmanuel Macron] is sceptical about an extension. A lot of people in the EU want this resolved."

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