Attorney General warns Brexit could be delayed until 2020

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has warned that Brexit could be delayed until 2020 if Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn can’t strike a deal in cross-party talks.

The Prime Minister has written to the EU to ask for a second extension, this time until the end of June. Whereas, the EU have responded by offering a one year flexible extension.

Cox acknowledged that hope of a deal being struck was fading ahead of a crunch summit of EU leaders next Wednesday, “the problem then would be that we would be in an extension. It’s likely to be a long one, by which I mean longer than just a few weeks or months,” he said.

Asked, by the BBC’s Nick Robinson for his Political Thinking podcast, if he meant “more than a year” – as some EU leaders have suggested – Mr Cox said the EU held all the cards.

“The prime minister would have little choice but to accept the extension that she’s offered,” he replied.

Senior Tory party members have said that any long extension that would require them to take part in next month’s European parliament elections would lead them to ousting May as Prime Minister and installing a new PM, who would most likely be a hard Brexiteer.

Philip Hammond suggested that a second referendum was a “credible option” and although Cox stressed the Government’s opposition, he said that “of course we will consider any suggestion that’s made”.

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