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Brexit: Vote on Theresa May’s deal may not happen next week

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Theresa May has told MPs that a third vote on her Brexit deal may not take place next week “if it appears there is not sufficient support”.

It comes after European Council President Donald Tusk said Brexit’s fate was “in Britain’s hands”.

EU leaders have agreed to delay the departure date by at least two weeks.

If MPs approve the PM’s deal next week, Brexit would be delayed from 29 March until 22 May. Otherwise the UK has until 12 April to make a new plan.

In a letter to all MPs on Friday evening, Mrs May said it was possible a third vote on the withdrawal deal may not take place – but she offered to talk to MPs over the coming days “as Parliament prepares to take momentous decisions”.

She also referred to her televised address on Wednesday, in which she blamed the delay to Brexit on MPs.

Mrs May acknowledged that “a number of colleagues had raised concerns” about her words and it had not been her intention to make a their “difficult job… any more difficult”.

Speaking in Brussels on Friday, Mr Tusk said that until 12 April, “anything is possible” including a much longer delay or cancelling Brexit altogether.

He said he was “really happy” the 27 EU leaders had reached a unanimous decision to extend the two-year Article 50 process, under which the UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March.

“It means that until 12 April, anything is possible: a deal, a long extension if the United Kingdom decided to rethink its strategy, or revoking Article 50, which is a prerogative of the UK government.

“The fate of Brexit is in the hands of our British friends. As the EU, we are prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. As you know, hope dies last.”

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