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With Brexit Backsliding, Tory Leavers Insist Britain Must Leave EU by 2022 at Latest

May Junkcer September Getty
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The feared backslide which is seeing Britain’s departure from the European Union moving further into the future continues, with pro-Brexit Tory MPs now concerned Prime Minister Theresa May could fail to complete the transition even by the next general election in 2022.

The new deadline being demanded would commit Theresa May to getting Britain “fully out” of key areas of EU control by 2022, when the next general election is due — amid concerns that the Brexit process is already years behind schedule.

Brexiteers worry that if the UK has not managed to extricate itself from certain areas by then, such as the EU Customs Union, it never will.

The warning comes as those Conservative MPs signal they are willing to give the Prime Minister extra time to negotiate with the European Union over the Irish border issue, reports The Times, but not indefinitely. The paper states the Eurosceptic MPs are concerned that given the next general election is in 2022, and: “After that we can’t know who will be in charge, so we must be fully out by then.”

After the European Union membership referendum in June 2016, Britain was supposed to begin the process of leaving the continental power bloc; however, triggering the Article 50 process was delayed until March 2017. The delay meant almost a whole year passed without formal Brexit negotiations being able to take place.

A formal date for Brexit was then set for March 2019, but subsequent capitulations and negotiation failures by Theresa May’s pro-remain led government means this date has become little more than a symbolic departure.

Now, Britain will likely be subjected to a 21-month so-called ‘transition period’ to the end of 2021, where the nation will continue to be subjected to EU rules and regulations, as well as being forced to pay towards the EU budget, without being able to implement new trade deals outside the bloc.

This arrangement has been criticised by Eurosceptics as a ploy to keep Britain in the EU indefinitely. This concern is now being realised in the further extension being allowed by nominally pro-Brexit Conservative Members of Parliament telling the Prime Minister she must absolutely get Britain out by the next general election.

By British law, the election could take place no later than May 5th 2022, exactly 5 years, 10 months, 12 days after the referendum first decided that the UK should leave the EU — leaving Britain’s departure significantly behind even worst-case scenario schedules as envisioned at the time of the vote.

It is not clear, however, that allowing the Prime Minister to kick the date for Britain actually leaving the European Union down the road further into the next decade would actually help placate the European Commission, which has generally refused to concede to Britain’s negotiating team and require endless concessions itself for no progress.

The EU now demands that any settlement over the Irish border —  an area of contention that some figures have argued is deliberately being played-up beyond its actual importance as a way to frustrate Brexit — must be “an all-weather fix — that means British election-proof”.

Delivering such a solution is not conceivable within the framework of the ancient British constitution, which prevents any given government from binding a successor, meaning the EU is in effect setting an impossible task as the price of allowing a “negotiated” Brexit.

It is anticipated that Brussels will again bat away May’s latest Brexit compromises this week, despite claims over the weekend that Britain and the EU were close to signing a deal.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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