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Brexit: Sturgeon tells May to make the most of delay

First Minister writes to Prime Minister after Brexit delayed by up to six months.

Brexit has been delayed yet again.
Brexit has been delayed yet again.

Nicola Sturgeon has written to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her not to waste the “gift of more time” after Brexit was delayed again.

In her letter, the First Minister told May that she must seek to work across parties and across the devolved administrations to find agreement.

Sturgeon also outlined the Scottish Government’s view that any deal agreed by the UK Parliament should be put to another referendum, with an option to remain on the ballot.

May has told MPs it was their “national duty” to pass a Brexit deal after withdrawal from the EU was again pushed back.

Addressing the Commons after the EU offered the UK a six-month Brexit delay until October 31, Halloween, the Prime Minister said Parliament needed to come together for the national good.

May said agreeing a deal was the only way to avoid the UK holding European Parliament elections on May 23.

The Prime Minister told MPs: “We need to resolve this. So that we can leave the European Union with a deal as soon as possible.

“This is our national duty as elected members of this House – and nothing today is more pressing or more vital.”

Mrs May said Brexit talks with the EU had been “difficult” but she had fought Britain’s corner.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The second extension in the space of a fortnight represents not only a diplomatic failure, but it is another milestone in the Government’s mishandling of the entire Brexit process.”

The six-month extension to October 31 was a compromise solution thrashed out by EU leaders after French President Emmanuel Macron dug-in against a longer delay lasting into 2020.

If the UK fails to take part in elections to the European Parliament on May 23-26, it will automatically leave without a deal on June 1.

A review of progress will take place at the scheduled June 20 European Council summit in Brussels, but Mr Tusk stressed that this would be an opportunity for “taking stock” and not for any new negotiations.

The term of the current European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker ends on October 31.

The deal stopped the clock on the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal on Friday.

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