LONDON — Britain’s big Brexit decision appears to have been delayed.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has pulled the plug on Tuesday’s parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal, a source with knowledge of the decision told CNN Monday.
The decision — also widely reported in British media — may have been taken in the face of predictions she would suffer a disastrous defeat that could threaten to end her premiership and topple the government.
There has not been any official confirmation of a postponement. May will address the UK House of Commons on Monday afternoon, according to an unexpected announcement from Parliament’s press office. The leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, will make a statement after that followed by Brexit Secretary, Steve Barclay.
UK parliamentarians were supposed to be given the opportunity to approve or reject the deal in the so-called “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.
In recent weeks, May had been trying to win support for her agreement but with a high number of her own Conservative Party MPs opposed to it, she didn’t appear to be having much success.
On Sunday, May warned that failure to support her Brexit deal could risk the UK canceling Brexit and lead to Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour party, “getting his hands on power.”
“I’m not somebody who is normally a doom-monger, but I genuinely am concerned that we would see greater division and greater uncertainty,” the embattled British leader added.
If the crucial Brexit vote is delayed, it is unclear what May’s options would be. She is due to attend a meeting of European leaders on Saturday, at which the parliamentary impasse over Brexit is likely to be top of the agenda.