British Prime Minister Theresa May blamed members of parliament for the impasse in Brexit talks with the EU Wednesday.
“In March 2017, I triggered the Article 50 process for the UK to exit the EU – and Parliament supported it overwhelmingly,” she said speaking at Downing Street.
“Two years on, MPs have been unable to agree on a way to implement the UK’s withdrawal,” she said, adding that the U.K. “will now not leave on time with a deal on 29 March.
“This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me,” May said.
“And of this I am absolutely sure: you the public have had enough,” she added.
Appealing directly to the British public, May said “You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with.”
“I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide.”
May said: “So, today I have written to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, to request a short extension of Article 50 up to the 30 June to give MPs the time to make a final choice.
“Do they want to leave the EU with a deal which delivers on the result of the referendum – that takes back control of our money, borders and laws while protecting jobs and our national security?
“Do they want to leave without a deal?
“Or do they not want to leave at all, causing potentially irreparable damage to public trust – not just in this generation of politicians, but to our entire democratic process?
“It is high time we made a decision.”
May said the parliament has done everything possible to avoid a choice with motions and amendments and said what they do not want.
“I passionately hope MPs will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU,” she urged lawmakers.
Defending her deal which was twice rejected by the parliament, May described it as “a deal that delivers on the result of the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable.”
The British premier also said she would continue to work to secure her deal and she is “not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June.”
May said a further delay “would mean asking you to vote in European Elections, nearly three years after our country decided to leave.”
“What kind of message would that send?,” she questioned.
Also ruling out a general election and a second referendum, May told the public “now you want us to get on with it.”
“And that is what I am determined to do.”
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal in London